The public inquiry looking into last June's deadly mall collapse in Elliot Lake has learned from an engineer that years of maintenance work completed on the mall's parking deck didn't mirror its recommendations.
Previous evidence at the inquiry showed engineering firm Halsall recommended the mall undergo rigorous repairs to stop the leaks, but the mall owners didn't interpret the recommendations in the same way.
Mall maintenance supervisor Ken Snow told the inquiry last week he spent 16 years chasing leaks at the mall.
"It was never ending. It was ongoing all the time," he said, but added he never changed the maintenance routine.
"We just continued on the same process, because that's the way they wanted it done."
Misinterpretation of report
Evidence submitted at the inquiry Monday suggests the mall's roof wasn't properly maintained.
"What has been going on on that [parking] deck has not been what should have been going on on that deck," said Michael Buckley, who worked with Halsall, an engineering firm that inspected the mall’s structure in 1989.
In Halsall's review, Buckley said it recommended the owner use a qualified contractor to complete a full-scale repair of the roof.
But commission lawyer Bruce Carr-Harris said that wasn't how the owner of the mall interpreted the report.
"They assumed it was just requiring continuation of what they are doing, and they could do it themselves," he said.
Carr-Harris said the report listed how the repairs should be conducted, but didn’t say the mall owner had to hire a contractor.
Buckley said if a contractor was hired to complete Halsall's recommendations, the leaks would have stopped. Halsall’s report gave a quote for the work, but the owners ended up attempting to do the work themselves with mall maintenance staff.
Further examination of the inspection report was to continue Tuesday.