July 25, 2016
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CANADALAND
#144 Follow Up: John Furlong
John Furlong has been accused of abusing dozens of First Nations children when he was a teacher in Burns Lake in the 1960s. Journalist Laura Robinson told this story and ended up on the wrong side of a defamation lawsuit.
Katie Jensen
Freelance Producer
Jesse Brown
Host & Publisher

Last week, the Assembly of First Nations put forward a resolution to pressure the federal government and the RCMP for a full new investigation into the allegations. Meanwhile, Furlong is continuing to rehabilitate his image, recently tasked with helping Calgary bid for the 2026 Olympics.

John Furlong’s accusers are asking the federal government to listen to them. But why is Furlong’s voice so much louder?

Statement from John Furlong’s counsel:

“We are counsel to Mr. Furlong and write in response to your request for
comment about allegations of abuse made by persons who were interviewed by
Laura Robinson.  Mr. Furlong has consistently stated that he is innocent
of the alleged abuse and each allegation that has been subject to
investigation by the RCMP or finding of the courts has been found to be
unsubstantiated.  The details of Ms. Robinson’s investigation into Mr.
Furlong and Mr. Furlong’s position in response are canvassed in detail in
Justice Wedge’s Reasons for Judgment, a copy of which is available here:
http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2015/2015bcsc1690/2015bcsc1690.pdf.
We draw your attention in particular to the following finding of the Court
at para. 276:

“The statements of Ms. Abraham, Ms. West and Mr. Morice were the only
three statements obtained by Ms. Robinson that were even minimally tested
in a way that we, as a society, believe our system of justice requires
when a citizen faces such serious and devastating allegations.  All three
proved to be unreliable.”

Mr. Furlong has no further comment on this case and requests that to the
extent you are reporting on these allegations that you direct
readers/listeners to Justice Wedge’s Reasons for Judgment.”  (Claire
Hunter, Hunter Litigation).

Thanks,
Chris

>Chris Dornan
>High-Performance Public Relations

Judge Wedge’s Reasons for Judgement can be found here.

Tricia Lo’s CBC piece, “Canadian Olympic Committee ‘extremely pleased’ Calgary exploring 2026 bid.”

Read Robert Hiltz’s piece, “Assembly of First Nations Votes to Press Government for New John Furlong Investigation.”

Read the affidavits of the accusers.

Read the accusers’ open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau dated November 2015.

Listen to episode, “John Furlong’s Privilege,” with guest William McDowell, posted after Laura Robinson lost her libel suit against John Furlong.

Listen to our first interview with Laura Robinson, posted after Robinson broke the story.

Laura Robinson’s Georgia Straight piece, “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake.”

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