Toronto Star union calls for 3rd-party investigation into reporter’s death


Toronto Star union calls for 3rd-party investigation into reporter’s death

Award-winning journalist Raveena Aulakh, 42, died ‘recently,’ Star says

The union representing the Toronto Star’s newsroom workers has called for an independent investigation after one of its reporters took her own life, the newspaper’s public editor wrote Tuesday.

Global environment reporter Raveena Aulakh, 42, died “recently,” the Star’s Kathy English said.

The newspaper’s management told English it had conducted an internal investigation into allegations that she had been involved in a relationship with a senior manager, Jon Filson, which were included in emails the award-winning journalist sent to colleagues in advance of her death, she wrote.

“Further, the clearly heartbroken reporter made allegations in those emails about an improper relationship between Filson and his boss, managing editor Jane Davenport,” English wrote.

Senior managers reassigned

The Star had announced Monday that Davenport would be moving out of the newsroom and take another job within Torstar.

English said that Filson no longer works for the paper.

Torstar CEO and acting publisher David Holland said the investigation concluded the organization’s policies related to workplace relationships and conflicts of interest need to be “amplified,” English reported.

“This will be undertaken immediately,” she wrote

‘Employees want answers’

The union, however, said that they want to see a third-party investigator called in as well.

“The newsroom is heartbroken and angry. Employees want answers. Workplace health and safety is at stake,” the letter from Unifor’s Toronto Star Unit, Local 87M read, as published in the Star. “We want the third-party investigator’s mandate to include workplace health and safety and harassment issues, along with company policies and practices.”

The union’s representative, Steve Gjorkes, could not be reached by CBC News Tuesday night.

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