John Furlong’s Burns Lake odyssey

Formal letter concludes RCMP investigation into some Furlong accusation.

“Based on the facts uncovered, the allegations made by Beverly Abraham are not supported. Reasonable and probable grounds do not exist on which to recommend charges against John Furlong to Crown Counsel,” wrote RCMP corporal Quinton Mackie in a Dec. 5, 2013 letter to Furlong’s lawyers.

This formal statement of the conclusion of RCMP investigations into Abraham’s accusations against Furlong follows the leak of a document which suggested that the RCMP had concluded their investigation after finding no evidence of wrongdoing.

At the time, Furlong took the memo as a vindication of his position (Furlong claims vindication), but the RCMP maintained that the overall investigation was still open.

Robinson publicized the accusations against Furlong in a freelance piece − John Furlong Biography Omits Secret Past in Burns Lake – written for Vancouver-based newspaper, the Georgia Straight.

Abraham was reported by Robinson as being from Lake Babine Nation in Burns Lake. Abraham’s affidavit referred to her time at the former Immaculata school with Furlong as one of her teachers.

On Dec. 12, 2013, Furlong announced he is seeking to set a trial date for his defamation lawsuit against freelance writer Laura Robinson. “My decision to seek a trial has been made in light of an official letter I received yesterday from the RCMP that fully exonerates me with respect to Ms. Abraham’s false allegations, some of which were also published by the activist Laura Robinson, whom I am suing for defamation in a separate suit before the B.C. Supreme Court,” Furlong said in a written statement.

Robinson maintains the accuracy of her reporting and has established a legal fund for donations in support of her defence.

Robinson had previously requested that Furlong be forced to supply a $100,000 bond to cover her legal expenses in the defamation suit. The Canadian Press reported, on Dec. 10, 2013, that the court rejected the application.

In a sworn affidavit, Furlong said that Robinson’s article has had a severe impact on his ability to earn a living through the public speaking career he had developed since his role in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Civil suits filed by Grace Jessie West and Daniel Morice continue to be active, although the Canadian Press reports the Abraham complaint to be the only one officially confirmed as under RCMP investigation.