Furlong should step aside from publicly funded group

Despite numerous sworn affidavits accusing John Furlong of inappropriate conduct, despite what the Toronto Star calls “explosive new allegations“, despite indications that Furlong has been incomplete or disingenuous in recounting biographical details, despite questions raised by CBC Fifth Estate about Furlong’s lack of candour regarding track dangers perceived before the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, the former VANOC CEO continues as Chair of Own the Podium, a quasi-public  organization that draws most funding from taxpayers.

This sport administration body claims its activities are guided by strategic “Pillars of Excellence.” It ought to ask Furlong to step aside until these matters are resolved.

Laura Robinson’s defence argues that victims have been:

retraumatized by the statements and actions of the Plaintiff [Furlong] and were further traumatized by those in authority implicitly dismissing their sworn statements by rallying to support the Plaintiff.

Just one example: Chris Selley of the National Post sees John Furlong as the victim here, writing,

Maybe it’s time for understanding and compassion to make a comeback.

He was not referring to the 25 or so people claiming abuse, largely First Nations folk.


Laura Robinson’s Response to Civil Claim

CBC’s Death at the Olympics

Categories: VANOC

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23 replies »

  1. Ah yes, Norman, he is eased out of Own the Podium only to resurface as High Commissioner to Belfast with his gop around an even bigger siphon, plunged deeper into the taxpayer tank.

    Isn't it peculiar though how, more often than not, it is the eastern media who out the stories in BC.


  2. Yes I agree with the above. The eastern media has no affiliation with the political folk in this neck, of the woods. Our MSM seem to up to their corporate necks in keeping the “socialist hordes” from taking over lotus land. Perhaps that's why no one can truly believe the “news” as they report it. The hidden agenda that is the corporate worlds main concern here in BC, would seem to trump all other news as long as they can spin it in their favor.

    Their world is about to crash about their feet, after the election. No more buddy buddy cronyism, your time in the sun is done…for a season. Besides the rest of us have a real mess to fix. CC will be looking for a new line of work along with most of the rest of them.


  3. Weight of the many sworn accusations demands that Furlong give up, at least temporarily, any publicly funded position, like Own the Podium. Failure to do so is another insult to First Nations people, many of whom suffered significantly under the RC Church's school system.


  4. Totally agree Norm.
    Too bad it will take about 7 years for this to reach the courts and we will probably never know the truth because of an “undisclosed settlement.”


  5. I suspect this one will drag on for a couple of years, then disappear with no settlement of substance. There would be a substantial chill on investigative reporting if the G.S. were penalized for publishing a story based on many statutory declarations, other evidence that brought Furlong's credibility into question and his repeated refusals to correct or respond to the information gathered by Robinson.


  6. Is it not interesting how the mainstream media have circled the wagons around Furlong, mind you I would wager that not many of the “pretty people” are returning his phone calls of late.

    So many accusations and serious ones at that.

    Sad to say, Libel lawsuits tend to open up a Pandora's Box of bitter hate, which in turn opens a great can of worms that expose those long forgotten skeletons in the closet.

    “Oh what tangled webs we weave, when we first practice to deceive.”


  7. Like many people in positions of power he has become an arrogant person. He feels he did nothing wrong. The allogations from his x common law spouce if true paint a picture of a mean violent man indeed.


  8. Sorry if I've sprayed this around hereabouts already, but:

    To be capable of embarrassment is the beginning of moral consciousness. Honor grows from qualms.

    —John Leonard

    Furlong, along with the whole côterie of his ilk, seem capable of the most persistent stonewalling, as if their little transgressions should be of no concern to anyone but themselves, hence we are governed by scoundrels through public ignorance and apathy. Else why would it take so long to clean house in Victoria, in Ottawa and in so many other seats of power in this world? I guess this is, in a backward sort of way, a chance to celebrate the work done hereabouts by the likes of Farrell and his fellow (sorry Laila) bloggers.


  9. After watching the revelations on Fifth Estate, I expected the media would be connecting dots and at the very least question the veracity of any statements made by Mr Furlong. The silence has been deafening


  10. I am sorry if my above comment was offending to anyone. The fault is mine if I was not explanatory enough. It was my attempt at showing the mindset of someone such as Mr. Furlong, someone whom this province and this society has adorned as a god to the point of where he feels above the common concerns and laws adhering to us ordinary citizens.
    My comment was his plea!
    Again apologies.


  11. Norm, something of interest that I feel worth mentioning. I watched the video from the link you have supplied and there was an ommission from the broadcast shown on CBC documentary aired last week on The passionate Eye. In that broadcast when confronted by Mr. McKeown about the wording in his email “an athlete could suffer injuries or worse” Mr.Furlong stated he recalled that he was concerned about the 2014 Sochi olympics. Something totally irrelevent to the exchanges at hand. in other words lied.
    It seems the deciet is being carried forth to this day and the editing room floor is still being swept clean.
    I remember both my wife and I being floored by the insulting blatant disregard for our intelligence by his words.


  12. The segment about the email is still in the online Fifth Estate episode “The Last Race”, about the 29 minute mark. Indeed, Furlong tries to claim the discussion of danger from excessive speed related to the planned track in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics. CBC got additional correspondence through FOI (not without resistance) that proves the discussion was about Whistler, not Sochi.

    Furlong failed to learn the lesson he offers to others,
    “If I learned a lesson . . . it was to be as transparent as possible. Worse was looking like you had something to hide.”

    Another odd event was described in Rosi DiManno's article in the Toronto Star,–dimanno-why-didn-t-vanoc-react-with-more-urgency-to-luge-track-fears.

    Furlong attended Kumaritashvili’s funeral in the Georgian’s small hometown and delivered an envelope containing $25,000 to the dead man's father. DiManno writes,

    “…amid renewed anger in Georgia over the disclosure of the emails, Davit Kumaritashvili lashed out in anguish and rage. 'They knew the track was dangerous, and the spot he went off was dangerous,' he is quoted as saying. 'They could have made it safer. It wouldn’t have cost a million dollars . . . but they didn’t.' “

    That cash Furlong gave the family may have been well intentioned. But a year later it smells like blood money.”


  13. Bob Mackin in the Tyee has reported that Furlong received $24,400.00 for a speaking engagement in Abbotsford.

    This brings two issues to light.

    1) Furlong's lucrative fees for public speaking.
    2) The lucrative fees that members of the mainstream media may receive for public speaking engagements.

    The Abbotsford speaking engagement ($24,400.00) paid Furlong almost as much money as the one time $25,000.00 'cash' (blood money?) payment to the Georgian family of the luge contestant who was killed during a luge run prior to the Olympics.

    How much of the news is twisted, or omitted, or ignored by news reporters, media commentators, and pundits, ensuring they do not lose lucrative speaking engagement monies?


  14. Every time I hear this mans name, see his face, I think about how many extremely shallow people, without knowing anything about the man except his glamour and blue jacket actually wanted him as Premier.


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