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Ottawa judge to lead public inquiry in Elliot Lake mall collapse

July 9, 2012, Toronto – A prominent Ottawa judge will lead the public inquiry into the mall collapse that killed two women in the northern Ontario community of Elliot Lake.

July 9, 2012
By The Canadian Press

July 9, 2012, Toronto – A prominent Ottawa judge will lead the public inquiry into the mall collapse that killed two women in the northern Ontario community of Elliot Lake.

Attorney General John Gerretsen announced the appointment of Justice Paul Belanger today.

Belanger will look into events surrounding the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall and review the emergency management and response to the disaster.

Gerretsen says the government is still working on finalizing the terms of reference for the inquiry.

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But he says once it begins, Belanger will report back publicly within a year.

The Progressive Conservatives say Belanger needs to begin work as soon as possible to restore the public's confidence in the province's emergency measures system.

Tory Steve Clark says all Ontarians and especially the people of Elliot Lake want to find closure on what happened.

Residents have complained that the mall was in shabby condition before the cave-in on June 23rd and have questioned the speed at which rescuers tried to reach those trapped.

Belanger has presided over several high-profile cases, including the trial that led to the acquittal of former federal privacy commissioner George Radwanski on criminal fraud charges in 2009.

Belanger also presided over the trial of Andre Dallaire, who tried to assassinate former prime minister Jean Chretien in 1995.

Belanger found Dallaire guilty of attempted murder, but not criminally responsible.