‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’

“The only ‘indigenous’ {‘Siberian settler’} professor on a committee working on a new sexual assault policy at the University of British Columbia has resigned from the group after the school brought back John Furlong to speak at an upcoming fundraiser.

“Daniel Heath Justice said in a letter to university president Santa Ono that the decision “silenced and erased” {unproven} allegations that Furlong physically abused ‘First Nations’ students while teaching at a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.

{Actually, what “silenced and erased” the allegations was that police could not find evidence to substantiate any charges; yet, decades later aboriginal race activists continue to persecute Furlong…} 

“Justice {what an ironic name for this perpetrator of injustice}, chairman of ‘First Nations’ and ‘indigenous’ studies, said he could not continue to serve on the committee…

“The university cancelled Furlong’s speech at a Feb. 28 student athletics benefit after a graduate student circulated a letter critical of him. But Ono reversed the decision this week, calling Furlong a “champion for amateur sport” who is especially qualified to speak.

“Furlong, the former Vancouver Olympics CEO, has vehemently denied the allegations, which first emerged in a 2012 newspaper article. Journalist Laura Robinson later lost her defamation suit against Furlong, with a judge ruling her reporting constituted an attack on his character.

“Several ‘indigenous’ professors have criticized the university’s decision to invite Furlong back. Charles Menzies, an anthropology professor {of course}, said he is troubled by the matter…

“Furlong has said the school’s decision to cancel the speech caused him and his family “deep hurt and embarrassment”.

“Claire Hunter, a lawyer for Furlong, said he has consistently stated he is innocent and pointed to the ruling in Robinson’s case, which included testimony from a nun who said Furlong was “kind and respectful” to students, and she never saw him use the strap.

“The RCMP has said an investigation into physical abuse allegations concluded without charges

“Sara-Jane Finlay, associate vice-president of ‘equity and inclusion’ and co-chair of the committee, said Justice was a very important member who provided significant contributions.

“We are saddened by his resigning from the committee but we do respect his decision,” she said.

{How can you “respect” someone whose only justification for his attitude is a racist worldview? He has slandered Furlong. How does he even get to teach at a university??}

–‘Indigenous’ prof quits committee after university brings back John Furlong’,
Canadian Press, JANUARY 11, 2017



Laura Robinson (PHOTO: Jonathan Hayward -- CP Freelance)
Laura Robinson (PHOTO: Jonathan Hayward — CP Freelance)

“Former Vancouver Olympic chief executive officer John Furlong could be forgiven if he thought the ugly ordeal he endured during the past few years was behind him.

“But clearly it is not. And if some people get their way, it will never be.

“As most know, Mr. Furlong in 2012 was the subject of devastating allegations that he had sexually and physically abused aboriginal children at a school in northern British Columbia where he taught in the early 1970s. He vigorously denied all of the assertions.

Three people filed civil lawsuits claiming Mr. Furlong sexually abused them. Two of the three cases were quickly dismissed; the other was dropped. The author of the article that first laid bare many of the charges of abuse, Laura Robinson, sued Mr. Furlong for defamation after he claimed her story amounted to a pack of lies.
(Mr. Furlong dropped a defamation suit against Ms. Robinson after the civil lawsuits failed, saying he just wanted to get on with his life. She persisted with hers.)

“B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge, one of the most respected jurists in the province, heard the libel case. Her judgment in September, 2015 — clearing Mr. Furlong of any slander — was a devastating critique not only of Ms. Robinson’s work, but of many of the claims made against the former Olympic CEO.

“With that, most people thought the matter was over, that Mr. Furlong would be able to get on with repairing his battered image and restart the successful career he had forged as a public speaker before it crashed amid the tawdry contentions against him. It was not to be.
(I should disclose here that I was hired in 2010 to write Mr. Furlong’s Olympic memoir, “Patriot Hearts”. In the process, I got to know the man well and never believed any of the allegations made against him.)

Glynnis Kirchmeier (Photo: ROSEMARY WESTWOOD - METRO)
Glynnis Kirchmeier (Photo: ROSEMARY WESTWOOD – METRO)

“Late last year, Mr. Furlong was asked to speak at an upcoming sports-fundraising breakfast at the University of British Columbia. That is, until a former student and sexual assault activist named Glynnis Kirchmeier found out and complained that by doing so, the school was accepting Mr. Furlong’s word over his ‘First Nations’ indicters.

“She suggested in a letter to the school that Mr. Furlong’s “lack of criminal history” reflected

“the racist exclusion of ‘First Nations’ people from the protection of the RCMP and legal system.”

“The school bit and cancelled Mr. Furlong’s engagement.

“This, by any definition, is an outrage. The RCMP and the courts have investigated the most outrageous allegations against Mr. Furlong and summarily rejected them. Allegations of abuse were not brought to police at the time, nor were any civil claims filed. There is little more Mr. Furlong could now do to clear his name.

“Still, that is not enough.

The campaign against him has the palpable feel of a vendetta, and UBC should be ashamed of itself for participating in it. This decision shows UBC is a school with little moral spine, an intellectual wimp that is captive to moral arbiters who get their jollies from shutting things down.

“I get that there are people who will always believe Mr. Furlong’s complainants. And I understand some people have a lot invested in trying to bring him down, no matter how long it takes. But we operate under a code of law in this country. And in terms of the allegations that have made it to court against Mr. Furlong, the law has spoken loudly and clearly.

“UBC’s handling of this issue – like so many of the messes that have enveloped the school in the past few years – has been atrocious. On Tuesday, the university’s new president, Santa Ono, clearly feeling the heat from a seething public, said in a statement the decision was made without his knowledge and that he had apologized to Mr. Furlong personally…

“I can assure you this will not sit well with many UBC alumni, including important donors. They, like many, believe John Furlong won the right to get on with his life and escape the tyranny of his accusers and their acolytes.

“Instead, UBC played right into their hands.”

–‘John Furlong has won the right to get on with his life’,
GARY MASON, Toronto Globe and Mail, Jan. 03, 2017



“Daniel Justice, the ‘First Nations’ and ‘Indigenous’ Studies chair and professor at UBC, said in his resignation letter that the decision to reinstate Furlong undermines the work he and the university are doing to build relationships with ‘indigenous’ people…

“(A)fter consultation with members of my {racial} community and significant reflection, my priority must be to support under-represented {?} ‘indigenous’ voices on these matters, and I believe that a viable and legitimate ‘survivor’-centred approach to sexual assault cannot stand with integrity alongside this deeply troubling action. At least not for me.”

“Justice, who is also the Canada research chair in ‘indigenous’ literature and ‘expressive culture’, declined to comment publicly beyond his resignation letter, stating that he wants the story to be about the Lake Babine community’s concerns, not his actions…

“Claire Hunter, Furlong’s lawyer, provided a statement saying Furlong has

“consistently stated that he is innocent of the alleged abuse and each allegation that has been subject to investigation by the RCMP or finding of the Courts has been found to be unsubstantiated.”

–‘Indigenous’ professor resigns from UBC committee over John Furlong reinstatement’,
TRACY SHERLOCK, Vancouver Sun, January 11, 2017


COMMENT: “The evidence against John Furlong was demonstrated to be confusing at best and false at worst. He was not charged with a crime, never mind convicted. It is appalling that he should now be scapegoated by people who have grudges and complaints against other individuals and institutions entirely. Very disappointing, to say the least.”
“Ironic name for a professor who doesn’t seem to respect justice or the rule of law in this country. Can’t imagine his teaching skills are any more balanced than his actions. If he had any backbone and conviction he would resign…”
“This reminds me of another ‘indigenous’ prof, Lorna June McCue, who complained about not getting tenure because she, in her 11 years as prof, didn’t write any peer-reviewed papers. Lorna believes because she’s one of the special people, she should be able to present oral presentations like HER people have done for thousand of years. So this article doesn’t surprise me at all. This resignation is a UBC win!”
“Accused is not the same as ‘convicted.’ No one is pandering to powerful people, everyone in Canada has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Reasonable people who respect fundamental justice think that guilt is something the Courts decide, not individuals.

“This postmodern view that everyone can construct his or her own ‘reality’ and that therefore it’s just A-OK for a non-judge to determine guilt using whatever “alternative epistemology” he wants, is bogus. Guilt is determined by Judges of the Crown. No Crown Judge has condemned Furlong, and therefore, to all loyalists, he is innocent. Loyalists need to stand up for one another, and our values. Fundamental justice is non-negotiable. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction is a part of fundamental justice. It is shocking to our conscience that we have “scholars” who are ignorant of these basic principles.”
“Good riddance to Mr Justice. Perhaps he should change his name to Daniel Bias or Mr Prejudiced Against the Truth. To think that he might be espousing his personal thoughts and biases to our children being schooled at UBC is quite disturbing in itself.”
“…His accusers failed to testify when the rubber hit the road. One of the accusers wasn’t even registered at the school, ever. One of them is a “serial accuser” who finally got charged with contempt because he made the same claims of more than one “powerful” person. I could go on about how the residential school claim program brought out the worst in both the people it was supposed to help and in the lawyers who were supposed to be helping them, but probably that would violate some confidentiality agreements i might have signed somewhere.”
“What is the lesson here. Don’t expose yourself to future claims of abuse by not interacting with any ‘First Nations’, period?”


“It’s all just a little too … tidy to be satisfactory.

“The University of British Columbia president, the felicitously named Santa Ono, on Tuesday issued an apology to John Furlong, the former head of the Vancouver Olympics whose speech to a university sports breakfast was abruptly cancelled last month when a nasty controversy that ought to have been well laid to rest was raised again.

“In brief, six years ago Furlong was accused by a journalist of physical abuse, and later sexual abuse, through complaints of ‘First Nation’ former students at schools in northern B.C. where Furlong taught as a young man.

“The two stories Laura Robinson wrote, which appeared in 2012, spawned sexual-abuse lawsuits (all dismissed or dropped) and defamation lawsuits between Furlong and Robinson. Furlong dropped his. Robinson didn’t, and lost in the B.C. Supreme Court in September of 2015, when Judge Catherine Wedge tossed her lawsuit and deemed that her stories weren’t simple journalism, but rather that they constituted “an attack”.

“Fast forward to December of this year, when a sexual-assault activist and UBC alumna named Glynnis Kirchmeier revived the allegations in a lengthy tweet in which she demanded Furlong’s speech be cancelled (and that he be banned from campus).

“That was on Dec. 19.

“In the days afterwards, Kirchmeier tweeted at least once directly to Ono

(“@ubcprez Please cancel the @ubc fundraiser in February with John Furlong #silenceisviolence”)

and to UBC generally

(“Will @UBC cont this hypocrisy? Will it cancel Furlong keynote? Or will it stop promoting knowledge of residential schools?”),

as did others, in response…

“In the apology, Ono said UBC “made this decision in good faith, but without proper consideration of its potential impact on Mr. Furlong or his family”. He said the decision was made without his knowledge or that of the UBC board of governors, and that “I deeply regret this error …” Ono went on to say that “some take issue with Mr. Furlong”, but noted his record of public service and extraordinary contributions to amateur sport.

“There is also no question that he deserved better in UBC’s handling of this matter… At root, the university’s decision making throughout this matter did not meet the standard I am eager to instil… While a modern university should neither court nor shy from controversy, our decision-making should be the result of a robust deliberative process… In this case, we have no one to blame but ourselves …”

–‘UBC’s tidy apology to John Furlong doesn’t right the wrong’,
Christie Blatchford, Vancouver Sun, 01.03.201



“One of those complainants, a woman who claimed sexual and physical abuse, couldn’t keep her story straight; names and dates changed with every RCMP interview. Another B.C. Supreme Court judge later concluded the woman never attended the school where she says Furlong abused her.

“A second woman dropped her civil claim after her criminal complaint was deemed unfounded.

The male complainant, it turned out, already had been compensated to the tune of $120,822 from Ottawa for similar abuse allegedly committed by another man at another school in a different town during the same time period he said Furlong had abused him

The woman’s complaint was investigated and police couldn’t substantiate it, in large part because her story shifted so often. That decision was reviewed by the Alberta RCMP, lest the B.C. Mounties had goofed.

“The other woman had testified in discovery for her civil claim; at one point, Judge Wedge said, she listed all the schools she’d attended and the one where she alleged Furlong had abused her wasn’t among them. The school register didn’t show her name. The male complainant, attempting to be paid twice, was clearly riding the residential school train…”.

–‘John Furlong’s sex-abuse trial by social media’,
Christie Blatchford, National Post, December 30, 2016


John Furlong in 2003 (PHOTO: Richard Lam -- Postmedia News)
John Furlong in 2003 (PHOTO: Richard Lam — Postmedia News)

“Once the first salvo was fired, once the word “abuse” appeared in front-page stories alongside John Furlong’s name, the public face of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics couldn’t win.

“That is how the game works. The idea of an heroic figure with feet of clay always makes a sensational story.

“It’s only when the story turns out to be untrue that it gets awkward.

“Oops, sorry!” doesn’t quite cover it. Or the accounts of the story’s unravelling run “on Page 6,” as Furlong said Monday, in a 90-minute conversation with ‘The Vancouver Sun’, his first extended sit-down interview in three years.

“The public moves on to the next victim, but the asterisk, Furlong well knows, may always linger.

“When this happened … I have a huge Rolodex, and a lot of people in my corner. And the corner just emptied out,” Furlong said. “A lot of people stayed, but a lot of people just went away, and I think it’s partially because they don’t know what to do, what to say. ‘How are you feeling?’ They know how you’re feeling. And so it became quite lonely.


“I used to exercise, fanatically, every day, and the desire to do that just evaporated. I didn’t want to be around people. It was embarrassing, humiliating. So I would get up at 4 in the morning and go walk the seawall, and then do it again at 10 at night, when it was dark.”

“The 65-year-old, Irish-born chief executive of the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee said he has begun to emerge from “the darkness” of allegations, brought forth in 2012 by a journalist/activist, Laura Robinson, that he physically and mentally abused students at an aboriginal school in Burns Lake, B.C., while teaching there as a member of an Irish Catholic mission in 1969.

“One by one, the allegations, which had first appeared in the ‘Georgia Straight’ newspaper, fell away, and the final act in Robinson’s obsessive three-year campaign against Furlong ended Sept. 18 when Madam Justice Catherine Wedge of the Supreme Court of B.C. dismissed a defamation suit she brought against the man she had sought to bring down.

“Ms. Robinson’s publications concerning Mr. Furlong cannot be fairly characterized as the reporting of other persons’ allegations against him,” the judge wrote. “Rather, the publications constitute an attack by Ms. Robinson on Mr. Furlong’s character, conduct and credibility.

“Robinson had proceeded with the defamation suit even after Furlong withdrew his own, against her.

“That he decided not to pursue the reporter for damages, given the enormous financial and emotional cost of defending himself against potentially ruinous allegations, is among the more surprising aspects of his ordeal.

“I honestly thought about it, and just decided I don’t have it in me,” he said. “I didn’t want to spend another minute on it.


“I would have hoped with all three cases gone that everybody would have seen this is not going anywhere, and just let it go and hope everybody learned something. And my family can recover and she can go away and think about something else.


“And of course, her reaction was, ‘I’m going to press on’.”

“Furlong said that in the beginning, he had thought Robinson’s story was so obviously untrue, no newspaper would publish it.

“I thought this would end in three days. And I was so wrong, and it got worse and worse. And the other thing I realized was that the more you respond to it, the worse it gets,” he said.


“You want to respond, and you see your children struggling, and so you do, and then what was contained is suddenly five times bigger.”

“Three years’ worth of legal fees, lost income from speaking engagements cancelled by nervous organizations, the cost to Furlong was considerable. Would he put a number on it?

“I won’t, but it was too much. An outrageous amount,” he said.


“When the Games ended, I can’t imagine there were too many people busier than me. Speaking engagements … and then it just died. And that was retirement planning for me.


“So all of that fell apart, and then my confidence went. It was always sitting there on my shoulder, waiting to jump out.


“Well, it was a lot of money, and some people helped (with the costs) but you know, financially is one thing but the human cost … I’d rather be penniless and respected than rich and reviled.”

“The human cost included the harassment of his children and, indirectly, the 2013 death of his wife, Deborah, in an auto accident in Ireland, where the couple had retreated to escape constant reminders of how opinion had turned against a man who had been hailed as a hero after the success of the Olympics.

“The court case, especially the judge’s ruling on Robinson’s defamation bid, has brought some measure of closure, Furlong said…

“I’m not sure I’m fully out of it yet, but I’m certainly feeling better. I mean it’s different than it used to be,” he said.


“I’m not wearing my dark glasses as much as I used to, there’s some good things happening around me.


“Well, anyway, it’s done and hopefully this time next year I’ll be able to look back and say this was all for the best.”

“He laughed.

“But I don’t think so.”

–‘John Furlong opens up about his lengthy legal battle’,
Cam Cole, Postmedia News, November 25, 2015



“In a stunning article published Sept. 26, 2012 by the ‘Georgia Straight’ newspaper, a Vancouver weekly, Mr. Furlong was alleged to have physically abused and verbally tormented aboriginal children while teaching at ‘Immaculata Elementary School’ in Burns Lake, B.C., during the 1969-1970 school year.

“Mr Furlong denied the allegations and launched a defamation lawsuit and public relations counter-attack against the report’s author, Ontario-based sports journalist Laura Robinson… Making matters worse for Mr. Furlong, three individuals came forward in 2013, claiming in graphic detail that he sexually abused them at Immaculata during the year he taught there. All three individuals filed similar but separate civil claims in B.C. Supreme Court, asking for “punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages”.

“At least one of those claims appears to have been bogus; on Tuesday, it was thrown out of court. A second claim was withdrawn in December. The third claim seems adrift.

“In her reasons for judgment released Tuesday, Madam Justice Miriam Gropper determined from school records and examination for discovery statements that claimant Grace Jessie West was not an Immaculata student during the school year she claimed to have attended. Ms. Grace would have been nine years old at the time.

“The judge noted that Ms. West gave conflicting accounts of her educational history during her April 2014 examination for discovery. Her then-lawyer, Jason Gratl, withdrew from the case, and Ms. West did not appear for subsequent proceedings.

“In all the circumstances,” wrote Judge Gropper, “I must dismiss Ms. West’s action.”

“The findings and related events throw into question other claims of abuse made against Mr. Furlong. He has denied each and every one of them.

“Beverley Abraham abandoned her civil claim against the former VANOC boss in December, because, she told the CBC,

“it’s been stressing me out and this has been years.”

“In her claim filed July 24, 2013, she alleged that Mr. Furlong sexually molested her “approximately 12 times” when she attended Immaculata in the 1969-1970 school year.

“Ms. Abraham was a prominent source in the ‘Georgia Straight’ article that first raised allegations of physical and mental abuse by Mr. Furlong. No mention of sexual abuse was made in the article.

“According to the Georgia Straight, Ms. Abraham swore in an affidavit that Mr. Furlong called her and other students “good for nothin’ Indians”, and

“would take his big foot and slam us down on the floor. It really hurt our chests”.

“Mr. Gratl, the Vancouver lawyer who had represented all three complainants, confirmed he no longer acts for any of them. He said “professional obligations” prevent him from explaining why. “I wish I could say more,” he said in an email to the National Post…”

— ‘Judge throws out sexual assault case against John Furlong, former Vancouver Olympic committee CEO’,
Keith Fraser, Brian Hutchinson, National Post, February 17, 2015



See also:
The ‘Indigenization’ and ‘Racialization’ of Canadian Universities’ {September 25, 2016}:


Education or Indoctrination?’ (Mandatory ‘Indigenous’ Courses) {Sept. 5, 2016}:
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1 Comment

  1. There have been too many false memories, false accusations and rewriting of the Residential School history of any history. This is what causes mistrust and no respect for the Aboriginals who were in residential schools!! Worse yet? Many of the people who are being accused and lied about are now dead and cannot defend themselves, as the Aboriginals lie to who ever will listen, sympathize and reimburse them for such crap!! Problem is? How many people who know the truth will actually come forward and defend the ones who are being accused and debunk the liars?? I would!! I remember and know some who were darn good to those same Aboriginals who lie and were abusive to them!!


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