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Elliot Lake Inquiry Commissioner set to release report

The report of the Elliot Lake Inquiry into the partial collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof is due to be released at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15.


The report of the Elliot Lake Inquiry into the partial collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof is due to be released at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15.

Commissioner Paul Bélanger will make public his findings in the northern Ontario town where the disaster occurred on June 21, 2012, and where the hearings were also held. Commissioner Belanger said he will make a statement, but not answer questions.

In July the Commissioner rejected an application by Robert Wood to delay the public release of sections of the report that related to him. Mr. Wood was the last engineer to examine the structure and is facing criminal charges.

Two women inside the mall were killed when part of the roof of the 1980s era mall fell onto them. The inquiry is looking into what caused the structural collapse and is examining related bylaws, standards and policies. These findings form Part 1 of the report. Part 2 is related to the emergency response and recovery effort which took several days and involved the intervention of then-Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty.

An early report by NORR suggested that the roof, which was also a parking deck, had collapsed due to the failure of a badly corroded welded connection in the structure. The roof was known to have been leaking badly for years and several consulting engineering firms had examined it and made recommendations.

On May 8, 2014, well after the hearings were completed in 2013, the Commission received an anonymous letter enclosing a 1988 report entitled “Deterioration of Parking Structures.”

The report had been prepared by an advisory committee for the province’s former Ministry of Housing Building’s Branch. According to the Ontario government’s response to the Commission: “The Report was one of many prepared from the late 1970s to the early 1990s regarding durability and deterioration of multi-level parking structures. The problem was well known in the sector.”

While the Ontario Building Code was amended in 1988 to include Canadian Standards Association S413 for the design and construction of new parking structures, the code does not cover existing structures and their maintenance.

For more details, visit the Elliot Lake Inquiry home page, at www.elliotlakeinquiry.ca