Laura Robinson’s lawyer says John Furlong win would have “chilling effects” for journalism

Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 26th, 2015

The lawyer for a journalist who is suing John Furlong for defamation warned of the “chilling effects” that will be created if the former Vancouver Olympics CEO prevails in the case.

In his closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court, Bryan Baynham said a Furlong victory would signal that it’s “open season” for the “wealthy and powerful” to destroy the reputations of journalists like his client, Laura Robinson.

“Journalists by their very nature publish uncomfortable allegations,” Baynham said today (June 26).

They are, in turn, expected to act responsibly, which, according to Baynham, was what Robinson did when she investigated and wrote about omissions made by Furlong in his autobiography and the alleged abuses he committed against First Nations students during his previously undisclosed early years in Canada.

Baynham said that Robinson did what a “good investigative journalist” does, which was to conduct research and interviews.

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