The vice-president of operations for the Rainbow Centre Mall in Sudbury says he is complying with a Ministry of Labour request for structural information.
The ministry said there are no immediate safety concerns at the mall, but asked for the review because of a report from 2001 that noted some structural issues in the mall.
Joe Zito says that 2001 report was done when the current owners bought the mall, so they knew what they were getting into. He said those issues were fixed, and added the ministry is being extra cautious because of what happened in Elliot Lake.
“They haven't suggested that they weren't done or that there were outstanding issues,” he said. “Everybody is covering their butt these days and they want to do the same thing.”
'Apples to oranges'
Zito noted the owners of the Rainbow Centre have spent millions of dollars on upgrades since 2001 and the city of Sudbury reports it has pages of building permits on file for those repairs. The Rainbow Centre has roof-top parking like the mall in Elliot Lake that collapsed last year, killing two women.
“I believe that we are comparing apples to oranges here with respect to the Rainbow Centre Mall,” said Sudbury’s chief building official Guido Mazza.
“It has been designed to have a parking structure above it, with the waterproof membrane and the drains and everything else that would normally be in a design.”
The public inquiry in Elliot Lake has revealed that the doomed Algo Centre Mall was poorly designed, constructed and maintained.
Now the ministry wants assurances from Rainbow Mall management that structural issues have been fixed.
“From time to time, you are going to get some leaks,” Zito said. “The difference is, do you do something about them or do you ignore them? And that's the big difference between us and what we keep getting compared to in Elliot Lake.”
Zito said the ministry has given him until the end of the month to provide the information requested.