Journalist’s lawyer presses John Furlong to go to trial

The Tyee

Published November 28, 2013

A year after John Furlong filed a defamation lawsuit against a newspaper and reporter, the saga may finally see a courtroom.

But the CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has still not set dates for a B.C. Supreme Court trial, according to the lawyer for journalist Laura Robinson.

Furlong sued the Georgia Straight and Robinson on Nov. 27, 2012, two months after the newspaper published Robinson’s “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake” expose. Furlong emphatically denied allegations in Robinson’s story that he had physically abused eight students of a Catholic elementary school where he taught physical education in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong’s Patriot Hearts memoir, published a year after the 2010 Games, made no mention of the Irish native’s missionary work in Burns Lake before his 1974 arrival at Edmonton.

Robinson’s lawyer Bryan Baynham filed a Nov. 22 application under the Libel and Slander Act seeking a judge to order Furlong post a $100,000 security with the court. The sum represents the estimated costs if a verdict or judgment is given in favour of Robinson.

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