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Top 25 Women of Influence 2017: Robyn Doolittle



Robyn Doolittle

Investigative Reporter

Robyn Doolittle first rose to journalistic fame at the Toronto Star, when she helped bring the Rob Ford crack-cocaine scandal to light. That big break in her career led to a rushed book deal and the Canadian bestseller, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story. Shortly after its release, she moved to The Globe and Mail as an investigative reporter, continuing with the Rob Ford beat in her early days, and reporting on smaller-scale scandals. And then on February 3, 2017, her Unfounded series debuted on the front page. The name comes from the term used for sexual assault cases that are dismissed because investigators determined that no crime occurred. During the 20-month-long investigation that Robin led, The Globe and Mail gathered data from more than 870 police jurisdictions, accounting for 92 per cent of the country’s population. It was revealed that police close about one in five sexual assault cases as “unfounded” — and they are not reported to Statistics Canada, giving a false impression of the extent of the problem. The investigation also uncovered serious flaws in how cases are handled. The result of Robin’s work? Several police forces committed to reviewing their unfounded cases, Statistics Canada announced it would resume tracking them, politicians promised to allocate more funding to these crimes — and a national conversation about sexual assault began.



Who else are we honouring? See the full Women of Influence Top 25 list for 2017.