Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Furlong, Accusers Can't Both Be Right

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Furlong, Accusers Can't Both Be Right

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Furlong, accusers can't both be right

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An editorial from the The Prince George Citizen, published Sept. 28:

In the Dire Straits song Industrial Disease, Mark Knopfler sings the great line - "two men says they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong."

That surely is the case with the explosive allegations contained in a Georgia Straight story Thursday afternoon that John Furlong, the CEO of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, verbally and physically abused students at Immaculata elementary school in Burns Lake. Furlong was doing missionary work after graduating from a Catholic high school in Dublin, according to the George Straight article, and taught gym class.

Eight former students filed sworn affidavits through Warren Chapman, a Burns Lake lawyer, that Furlong heaped physical and verbal abuse upon them during the year he taught there.

These affidavits are not criminal charges and the allegations inside these affidavits, as published by the George Straight, have not been heard in a court.

Both the George Straight and the author of the story, Laura Robinson, are definitely playing the Jesus card by publishing this story and the allegations made by the eight Burns Lake residents, without waiting to see if they merit criminal charges.

In other words, the George Straight believes eight people swearing in front of a lawyer that Furlong said and did these things 43 years ago is enough to warrant their story.

They're also pointing to the fact that Furlong did not mention this period of time in Burns Lake during his memoir, Patriot Hearts, as a sign that he didn't want anyone to know about his time there.

Furlong played the Jesus card right back Thursday afternoon at a hastily organized news conference in Vancouver, where he insisted the allegations are not true and that he plans to sue the reporter and the newspaper. Almost as an aside, he added someone asked him for money before the Olympics to make the problem go away and he referred that blackmail attempt to police. …

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