Koke filed a notice of the application in the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver on May 12, seeking a judicial review of the Commission’s decision to close her complaints this past April. This is Koke’s fourth attempt at going through official channels. Before going to CHRC in October 2014, she attempted to file a grievance with the union in 2013, but it wasn’t pursued.

According to Rishma Govani, spokesperson for Global News, “The allegation was thoroughly investigated by the company with support from Dawne Koke’s union.” However, no official grievance was filed. According to Govani, “The allegation, which was raised after her job performance was in question, was determined to be unfounded.”

In her Federal Court application, Koke says the CHRC didn’t list Gailus as a respondent and didn’t address her allegations against Shaw when it opened the complaint. Koke says her union, Unifor Media One, has refused since 2013 to file a grievance on her behalf over the sexual harassment allegations or the company’s alleged mishandling of the internal complaint process.

By August 2015, according to the application, she was terminated by Shaw when she didn’t return to work after the company denied her a leave of absence until the complaints were resolved.

According to Koke’s lawyer, Clea Parfitt, the ongoing problem is not with Gailus, but with the way, the commission, the company, and the union handled her client’s concerns.

“The story around the sexual harassment is that she raised it with Gailus, he apologized, and he stopped,” she told CANADALAND. “The ongoing problem is with the commission not with Gailus — with the commission and the employer — which has treated her very poorly.”

After the union chose not to pursue her grievance, Koke went on to file the first CHRC complaint.

In the federal complaint, she speaks against Shaw and Gailus, alleging “sex discrimination in the form of sexual harassment by Gailus during the period from 2006 to October 22, 2013, and failure by Shaw to follow company policy or a reasonable process in respect of an internal complaint of sexual harassment to Shaw.”

Koke complained of Gailus making “frequent inappropriate sexual remarks” and “many inappropriate looks.” She claims Gailus would look at her buttocks and make comments. She said Gailus would call her “harsh” or “bitchy” for “not playing along with his comments.” She also claims that on four occasions, the long-time news anchor pretended to get erections while having his makeup applied.

The allegations in the CHRC complaints and the application to the Federal Court have not been proven.

Before she even went to the union, Koke confronted the long-time anchor, according to emails CANADALAND obtained. After being confronted, Gailus changed the behavior, but the issue boiled over when Koke became dissatisfied with the lack of any formal disciplinary measures taken against him, and the company’s apparent refusal to hold a formal investigation.

From: Dawn Koke
Sent: October 22, 2013 1:20 PM
To: Chris Gailus
Subject: comments


I found your comments today, as in the past, to not only be rude but unprofessional.

Going forward I request that any personal, disrespectful, or sexual comments no longer be made.



The next message in the chain  is also from Koke to Gailus after an apparent phone conversation:

From: Dawn Koke
Sent: October 22, 2013 3:00 PM
To: Chris Gailus
Subject: RE: comments


I appreciate the phone call, however I must disagree with your sentiment that you are joking. Sarcasm lightly disguised as sincerity does not rate as a joke.

Also a “friend” does not continually over years reduce the other to an ass or a vagina with constant inappropriate sexual comments. Not only is it unprofessional but your comments reduce me to an individual devoid of the ability of intelligent conversation or feeling. My intelligence rates higher than my shoe size despite the fact that I am so obviously inferior by A)being female B)working as a make-up artist.

If you feel that you are receiving less respect than you deserve from me- trying giving it.

 Hopefully we have now cleared up any past and future miscommunications.

We are extremely different people Chris but I beleive [sic] if we try it can result in a more respectful and positive situation on both sides.