John Furlong dropped as keynote speaker at UBC fundraiser

John Furlong dropped as keynote speaker at UBC fundraiser - image

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong has been dropped from an upcoming UBC fundraiser.

The university confirmed that it has cancelled Furlong’s appearance at the ZLC Millennium Scholarship Breakfast on Feb. 28.

In a statement, UBC acknowledged concerns people may have about the change of keynote speaker, but also wrote that the decision was made to keep the event focused on its primary goal of supporting student athletes.

A statement from the group that handles Furlong’s public engagements said “UBC advised they made this decision based on controversy related to certain allegations.”

In 2012, a published article accused Furlong of verbal and physical abuse of First Nations students in northern B.C. decades ago.

“Mr. Furlong has consistently stated his innocence and each allegation subjected to RCMP investigation or court findings has been found to be unsubstantiated,” the statement said.

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It went on to say that Furlong “is disappointed as he has always been a champion for sport and a strong supporter of UBC’s sport programs.”

Furlong will be replaced at the scholarship breakfast by UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa Ono.

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