Tort Tuesday: Defamation case begins against former VANOC boss

ohn Furlong leaves British Columbia

A high-profile defamation suit kicked off in B.C. Supreme Court this week as journalist Laura Robinson sued Vancouver Olympics bigwig John Furlong.

Robinson’s suit is actually a response to Furlong’s now-dead lawsuit against her. He sued after Robinson wrote a 2012 article in the Georgia Straight newspaper, which said Furlong verbally and physically abused aboriginal students as an elementary school gym teacher in the 60’s.

He sued the paper and derided Robinson as an unethical and incompetent “activist,” comments that Robinson says damaged her career.

Despite the salacious nature of the trial, much of the first day was spent defining what an “activist” means.

Church burns down, gets sued

If there is any kind of Christian afterlife, one Nova Scotia roofing company has signed on for eternal punishment.

Linear Roofing of Cape Breton is suing a local church for more than $42,000 over apparent non-payment for a job that the church says was never finished … because it burned to the ground.

The church and roofers are arguing over whether the job was actually complete, and the parish council says Linear actually caused the fire. The fire marshal says it was an accident.

Regardless, the church’s insurance company plans a counterclaim alleging "negligence directly resulting in the loss of the church."

Anti-mailbox mob expands

Quebec’s court movement against Canada Post is growing.

Seven municipalities are piling on a lawsuit to prevent the death of door-to-door mail delivery and the placement of community mailboxes.

The big boxes are already installed in some areas, but residents aren’t giving up the fight against Canada Post’s cost-cutting measure.

They’re joining the suit that already includes Montreal, Laval, Longeuil, and Westmount.

The community boxes are getting a rough ride across the country. Hamilton, Ont. has fought its own legal battle against them, and residents in other cities are pressuring city councils to fight back, or are resorting to their own grassroots opposition.

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