PtG Article 28.11.2012

Ex-Vanoc head goes to court after abuse allegations

Strong accusations against John Furlong, former CEO of the Vancouver 2010 organising committee, are now going to court. Furlong has filed legal claims against Canadian newspaper Georgia Straight and journalist Laura Robinson for publishing allegations of abuse.

On 27 September 2012, Canadian independent newspaper Georgia Straight published an article by investigative journalist Laura Robinson producing testimonies from several students claiming to have been abused by John Furlong, former CEO of Vanoc, the local organising committee of the 2010 Vancouver Games during his time as a teacher at a school in northern British Columbia, Canada.

The article further claims that Furlong, contrary to what is written in his biography ‘Patriot Hearts’ according to which he arrived in Canada in 1974, actually arrived in 1969 as an Oblate Frontier Apostle missionary and spent his first years in the country as a teacher at the religious Immaculata Catholic School run by missionary order The Oblates.

It is sworn affidavits from students at this school that accuse Furlong of physical and verbal abuse. The allegations against Furlong in the affidavits deal with both beatings, kicking and different types of mental and verbal abuse. Read the Georgia Straight article here:

John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake

Shortly after the publication of the story, John Furlong held a press conference denying all allegations and accusing Robinson for leading a personal vendetta against him and for not having contacted him for comments on the article. Furlong also threatened to launch legal action.

Watch Furlong’s press conference here:Watch full video of John Furlong news conference responding to Georgia Straight article

Journalist Robinson returned the threat of legal action and said that several attempts for comments were made. The Georgia Straight also defended the story.

Georgia Straight responds to John Furlong's news conference

Yesterday, exactly two months after the article was published, John Furlong realized his lawsuit, and, according to a statement from his lawyer, filed a statement of claim against the owner of the Georgia Straight and reporter Laura Robinson as well as the publisher and the editor of the newspaper. Neither of the accused have yet commented on the lawsuit, Canadian news outlets write.