Michael Cooke, the Toronto Star’s tabloid-minded editor, is on a mission to expose the corruption and crookedness of the city’s secretive establishment. Every week brings a new target: the premier’s office, Marineland, the College of Physicians, and always Ford, Ford, Ford
It was early December of 2011, and Kevin Donovan was hellbent on publishing an exposé of Ornge, Ontario’s $150-million-a-year air ambulance service. Donovan, who runs the Toronto Star’s investigative team, had already spent two years sniffing around the company. Though he didn’t yet have the facts to back up his hunch, he was convinced something was amiss. He decided to take a chance and write a story about precisely what he didn’t know: how much Chris Mazza, the doctor who created and ran the publicly funded agency, and his vice-presidents were being paid. It was a Sunday, typically a slow news day, so Donovan figured the piece was a shoo-in for a front-page placement the next day.