Toronto Star and its toxic work environment

The Toronto Star gets called out for its way it handled the death of a female reporter after complaining of a toxic environment.

The Toronto Star has been called “the best investigative newspaper in Canada.” Since Michael Cooke’s 2009 appointment as editor-in-chief, it has aggressively pursued stories exposing sexism, power imbalances, inappropriate behaviour and harassment at workplaces such as the CBC and in the restaurant industry.

But recent allegations surrounding the suicide of award-winning reporter Raveena Aulakh open the organization up to questions about whether its own practices are adequate and how a company should respond when employees raise allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

In the weeks and months before Aulakh’s death, she emailed numerous colleagues and friends on a near-daily basis, expressing concerns about a workplace environment that she considered toxic. Her relationship with a co-worker – a newsroom leader, although not her direct manager – had ended after she discovered he was having an affair with another senior editor, his boss.



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