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Commissioner releases scathing report in Elliot Lake mall collapse

The commissioner who oversaw the inquiry into the deadly mall collapse in Elliot Lake two years ago has released a scathing report.  Justice Paul Belanger says a string of owners, engineers and City Hall led to the roof-top cave-in that killed two women.  Belanger says engineering inspections were so incomplete that they were meaningless.  The commissioner also found that the various mall owners were aware of the problems, like a leaky roof, but hid them.  Belanger also said City council and municipal staff turned a blind eye to the leaks and incidents of falling concrete.  In all Belanger makes 71 recommendations to avoid a similar tragedy.  Meanwhile the Minister of the Attorney General will establish an advisory panel on how to implement recommendations from the final report on the mall collapse in Elliot Lake.  Madeleine Meilleur says the province will review the report over the coming weeks.  She says the government and industry will build a safer Ontario in order to avoid another tragedy similar to the Elliot Lake mall collapse.   Also present at the release of the final report were the OPP.  However, Elliot Lake residents had a tough time getting answers from the police on if more charges will result from the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall.  The OPP’s chief superintendant for the North East Region would only say police are engaged in an ongoing investigation.  Commander Fern Labelle addressed local residents following the release of the commissioner’s final report on the roof top collapse.  When pressed a bit further, Labelle added police are sifting through a lot of information and if more comes in, they’ll look at it.  Police have charged only one person in the collapse and he’s the engineer who inspected the mall shortly before the roof caved in.

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