The public inquiry into the fatal mall collapse in Elliot Lake heard the city could have ordered emergency action on the mall — including demolition of the leaking structure prior to its eventual failure.

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Demolition of the Algo Centre Mall was near completion in March. A public inquiry into the Elliot Lake mall's fatal collapse is currently ongoing. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

On Tuesday morning the commission heard from an expert witness with Ontario Association of Property Standards Officers on how property standards enforcement works at the municipal level.

Warwick Perrin couldn't speak directly about the condition of the Algo Centre Mall, but he was able to inform the commission about what authority the city's Building Services Office has in terms of inspection, maintenance and bylaw enforcement.

Perrin told the commission Elliot Lake's enforcement policy is set by city council and confirmed Building Services has the authority to order repairs or emergency action by a property owner. In extreme cases, they can even order demolition.

This comes after last week's testimony from the former chief building official with the city of Elliot Lake, Roger Pigeau, who told the commission he knew the mall wasn't watertight and that there were problems with the parking structure.

But during Pigeau’s nearly 20-year tenure he didn't order a property standard inspection because he said he was understaffed and under qualified to properly inspect the mall.

Elliot Lake Inquiry schedule of testimony:

Warwick Perrin, President, Ontario Association of Property Standards Officer Inc.April 2, 2013
Larry Burling, Former Clerk, City of Elliot LakeApril 2, 2013
Ken Snow, Former Maintenance Foreman, Algoma Central Properties and Retirement LivingApril 3, 2013
Paul Meyer, Structural Engineer, P. Meyer Engineering, hired by Algoma Central PropertiesApril 4, 2013
Albert Celli, Engineer, HalsallApril 5, 2013
Michael Buckley, Engineer, HalsallApril 8, 2013
Jeff Truman, Engineer, HalsallApril 9, 2013
Michael A. Luciw, Architect, Yallowega BélangerApril 10, 2013
Richard Quinn, Former Property Manager, Retirement LivingApril 11, 2013
Blaine Nicholls, Architect, formerly with Nicholls Yallowega BélangerApril 16, 2013
Richard Kennealy, General Manager, Retirement LivingApril 17-18, 2013
Rhona Guertin, Comptroller, Retirement LivingApril 19-22, 2013