Professor quits UBC sexual assault committee over reinstated John Furlong speech
VANCOUVER – An indigenous professor has resigned from a sexual assault policy committee at the University of British Columbia after the school brought back John Furlong to speak at an upcoming fundraiser.
Daniel Heath Justice says in a letter to university president Santa Ono that the decision “silenced and erased” allegations that Furlong physically abused First Nations children while teaching at a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., decades ago.
The former Vancouver Olympics CEO has vehemently denied the allegations, which first emerged in a 2012 newspaper article.
The journalist later lost her defamation lawsuit against Furlong with a judge strongly criticizing her reporting.
The university cancelled Furlong’s speech last month after a graduate student circulated a letter that was critical of him, but Ono reversed the decision this week, calling Furlong a “champion for amateur sport.”
Ono’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment but he told Vancouver’s Roundhouse Radio that he stands by the decision to bring back Furlong.
Justice released the letter he sent to Ono on his Twitter account.