July 20, 2012, Toronto - Ontario's public
inquiry into the deadly mall collapse in Elliot Lake started Friday with the
appointment of a commissioner.
Ottawa Justice Paul Belanger will lead the
independent inquiry into the June 23 collapse of the roof at Algo Centre Mall,
which killed two women.
The inquiry will focus on the events
surrounding the collapse, municipal and provincial regulations on structural
integrity and safety of the mall and the emergency response following the collapse.
The Attorney General's Ministry says the
commissioner is expected to deliver a final report in 12 to 18 months.
Once the province receives the final report, it
will be tabled in the legislature and made public.
A criminal investigation into the incident is
also underway, and a $30-million lawsuit has been launched that names the mall
owner, the city and the provincial government. None of those allegations have
been proven in court.
The province says a website will be set up to
keep the public informed throughout the inquiry.
“We're doing everything we can to prevent
tragedies like the one in Elliot Lake from happening again,'' Attorney General
John Gerretsen said Friday.
“We've given Commissioner Belanger a mandate to
ask the kinds of tough questions about the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall
that need asking. I look forward to his recommendations.''