754 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
coaches, his work family or his immediate family. Throughout his busy
career, Bill never failed to make time for his family and has always been a
devoted father, son and husband. Indeed, there are very few Sundays when
the Basrans cannot be found at Bill’s parents’ home for dinner. Bill and his
wife, Kathryn, attend nearly all of their children’s sporting events, of which
there are many. When asked how he has managed to do so, his answer is
simple yet profound: “In life there are things for which you only get one
chance to show up. Don’t be a disappointment. Be there.” This attitude summarizes
how Justice Basran conducts himself—he just keeps showing up
without pretention or fanfare, and always with a smile.
If the Basran family had a mission statement it was “the pursuit of excellence
through education”. Bill’s father has four degrees including a master’s
and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. His mother has three degrees: a B.A.
and an M.A. in English as well as a B.Sc. in library sciences from the University
of Toronto. Bill earned his first degree, a B.Comm., in 1989 from the
University of Saskatchewan. He then worked for a major bank for two years
in Toronto and thereafter returned to Saskatchewan to attend law school. It
was there that he met Kathryn. She is also very accomplished. Kathryn is
the managing partner at Schuman, Daltrop, Basran and Robin and has a
B.Sc. from U of T and an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan. The
next generation of the Basrans appear to be following in their parents’ footsteps.
Their son, Ben, is now attending U of T, making him the third generation
of his family to attend that university. No doubt their daughter, Nicole,
who, like her mother, is a competitive swimmer, will follow in the family
tradition of excellence and higher education.
As for Bill’s career, it exemplifies the best of what it means to be a public
servant in the same tradition of commitment to excellence, compassion and
wisdom that is woven through the Basrans’ family life. Bill and Kathryn
came to Vancouver in 1994 and Bill articled at Campney & Murphy. He was
called to the bar in 1995 and then started in the tax section of the Department
of Justice (“DOJ”). Bill’s natural abilities as a leader and counsel were
recognized early. He was appointed as the regional director of tax law and
general counsel in 2004 and just three years later became the youngest
regional director general and senior general counsel in the history of the
Running a regional office of the DOJ comes with enormous responsibilities.
One must be able to assimilate and apply a significant amount of information
about a variety of subjects. A typical day could see Bill deciding a
sensitive HR issue, directing approaches to complex and nationally important
litigation, attending a meeting with senior public service executives,