John Furlong vs. journalist: Both claim to be the victim

CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

Lawyers for former Olympics CEO John Furlong and reporter Laura Robinson spelled out clear and opposing interpretations Friday of the facts surrounding a landmark B.C. Supreme Court defamation case.

Is it a case of a journalist targeted for doing her job? Or of a reasonable man responding to an attack?

Robinson is suing Furlong — claiming he attacked her professionalism and character in response to a 2012 Georgia Straight article alleging verbal and physical abuse against First Nations students at a Burns Lake, B.C., Catholic school.

Her lawyer, Bryan Baynham, told the court that clearing Furlong would declare “open season” on journalists for powerful people seeking to avoid investigative reporters.

“Being adversarial or critical does not mean her reporting was not responsible,” he said.

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