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Area of Expertise

Investigative reporting

Karen Howlett is based in Toronto, where she is a member of The Globe and Mail’s investigative team. As part of the team since 2013, she has probed contentious nomination races, the devastation in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic and Canada’s shortage of family doctors. A series of stories on illicit fentanyl and Purdue Pharma she did with colleagues was awarded a National Newspaper Award among other honours, including a Digital Publishing Award for best national news coverage. Her most enduring work began in 2015 - chronicling, along with colleague Greg McArthur, the alleged collusion and kickbacks involving former executives of Bondfield Construction and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Howlett first worked for The Globe as a reporter in the Report on Business, where her beats included financial services, securities regulation and a two-year posting in the newspaper’s British Columbia Bureau. She also spent seven years in The Globe’s Queen’s Park Bureau covering provincial politics. Karen is a three-time National Newspaper Award winner. Two projects she led on stock market manipulation and unethical mutual fund practices were finalists for Canada’s Michener Award.

Why did you become a journalist?

I love the challenge of exploring a topic I know little about, and shedding light on issues and questionable practices that those in authority, be they political or business leaders, would prefer to keep hidden.


Years in Journalism


Years at The Globe and Mail


Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Simon Fraser University

Honours & Awards

Three National Newspaper Awards

Shortlisted four times for a Michener Award

Professional affliations

Ontario Securities course

Languages spoken


Karen Howlett abides by The Globe and Mail Editorial Code of Conduct

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