Three B.C. defendants respond to Furlong lawsuit with court documents

The Canadian Press
January 15, 2013

VANCOUVER - Some of the journalists being sued by former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong over a controversial newspaper article have filed court documents defending their work.

The article was published Sept. 27, 2012 and alleged Furlong was physically and verbally abusive while he was a volunteer teacher in northern B.C. in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Furlong denied the allegations, and in late November his lawyers filed suit against Georgia Straight publisher Daniel McLeod, editor Charlie Smith, Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. and journalist Laura Robinson.

McLeod, Smith, and Free Press Publishing say in the court documents the article was not defamatory or even capable of being defamatory.

They also say they are protected by the common-law defences of responsible communication, fair comment, justification and consent.

Most of the allegations involve Furlong's time as a volunteer teacher at Immaculate, a Catholic school run by the Oblates.