John Furlong backs off defamation suit against Georgia Straight
The former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, John Furlong, won’t proceed with a defamation suit against the Georgia Straight, publisher and editor Dan McLeod, and editor Charlie Smith.
Less than a year after filing his claim in B.C. Supreme Court—and before the case had reached examination for discovery—Furlong filed a notice of discontinuance in B.C. Supreme Court on October 29.
The article that sparked the suit, by freelance writer Laura Robinson, revealed that Furlong moved to Burns Lake in 1969 as a Christian Apostle. He worked as a gym teacher at Immaculata Elementary School, and eight former students have sworn affidavits alleging that they either experienced or witnessed physical abuse.
“In our opinion, this notice of discontinuance represents a complete vindication of the Georgia Straight’s position that the article was a responsible communication on matters of public interest—a defence recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009,” McLeod said.
Furlong is continuing with his defamation claim against Robinson.