Ministry inspected Elliot Lake mall prior to collapse
Inspectors checked Algo Centre five months before disaster
The Ontario Ministry of Labour investigated the Algo Centre mall in Elliot Lake just five months before its roof collapsed, but did not issue any orders or violations, officials heard Wednesday morning.
The ministry was responding to complaints about leaks, mould and an unsafe escalator, said assistant deputy minister Sophie Dennis, appearing before the public inquiry into the disaster.
Documents indicate the owner, Eastwood Mall, told the ministry it would repair the roof by the following summer. The roof partially collapsed in June, killing two and injuring dozens.
The ministry inspected the mall more than 30 times starting in 1995, Dennis told the commission. She said not all of the visits were about the leaking roof, and some led to violations being issued against the mall. .
Dennis said in her opinion the ministry isn't at any fault.
The commission heard earlier this week that the city’s top building official ordered repairs to the roof following an inspection in 2006, but never followed up.
The Ministry of Labour is also looking into the collapse, but will not investigate its own workers, Dennis said.
Inspectors who completed the ministry’s investigations will testify at the inquiry in June. The inquiry continues this week with appearances by former Zellers manager Brian Cuthbertson and former Elliot Lake mayor George Farkouh.
From a report by CBC's Amy Dodge