John Furlong goes on the defensive over abuse allegations

Facing an investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse, John Furlong denies all claims against him and says he plans on suing the Georgia Straight newspaper and reporter Laura Robinson for defamation.

Furlong, the head of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the executive chair of the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the head of Canada’s Own the Podium program, denies any wrongdoing.

The RCMP is continuing its investigation.

In a prepared statement, Furlong defended himself at a press conference. From the Ottawa Citizen:

“I have been accused of physical abuse and apparently within the last hour, sexual abuse. I want you to know I categorically deny absolutely any wrongdoing and I believe that the RCMP in looking into this matter will discredit the complaint entirely because it just did not happen.”

Furlong is accused of abusing students at a British Columbia school where he taught over 40 years ago. At least eight students have made allegations against him from his year of teaching physical education at the Immaculata Elementary school in Burns Lake, B.C., a Roman Catholic school.

Nuns and staff at the school are also accused of being physically and verbally abusive.




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John Furlong goes on the defensive over abuse allegations

  1. If all these accusations prove nothing but innuendo then this reporter and her paper should be sued for millions. This man if innocent will always be under suspension by a percentage of the population. If he turns out to be guilty then he deserves punishment equal to the crime Position and wealth can never be an excuse to avoid the wrath of society

    • Whether he’s guilty or not, they’ve just ruined the rest of his life.

  2. Will lose either way

  3. Given that at least 8 students have sworn affidavits about John Furlong’s behavior and given that corporal punishment (use of pain to discipline students) was very widespread at the time, it is very probable that missionary teacher John Furlong hit his students and likely called them ‘stupid Indians’. It is also clear that John Furlong has regularly lied to hide his time spent as a missionary teacher (just watch the video linked from the original Georgia Straight story). So, the only real question is what label to put on Furlong’s behavior: was it racist abuse or commonplace (but still nasty) discipline? Because Furlong has lied about it so much, we can assume that he is probably ashamed of the way that he and the other Catholic teachers treated the students. And, because corporal punishment was not illegal back then, no charges will be laid against Furlong. So, we have a man who was part of Canada’s ugly, colonialist past and who went on to do very good things with his life. However, he does not want to be honest about his past (just as most Canadians do not want to think about the genocide of the Residential Schools). The only way that Furlong can make something good out of this is to behave like an Order of Canada recipient, be honest about our past and his past, ask his former students for forgiveness, and move forward to encourage our society be less racist and more tolerant. He still has a chance to show his leadership and the integrity that he has displayed during most of his adult life.

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