Public inquiry kicks off into deadly Elliot Lake mall collapse

Ontario's public inquiry into the deadly mall collapse in Elliot Lake started Friday with the appointment of a commissioner.
A worker walks back from rubble at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., in late June. Ottawa Justice Paul Belanger will lead the independent inquiry into the June 23 collapse (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Ontario's public inquiry into the deadly mall collapse in Elliot Lake started Friday with the appointment of a commissioner.

Ottawa Justice Paul Belanger will lead the independent inquiry into the June 23 collapse of the roof at Algo Centre Mall, which killed two women.

The inquiry will focus on the events surrounding the collapse, municipal and provincial regulations on structural integrity and safety of the mall and the emergency response following the collapse.

The Attorney General's Ministry says the commissioner is expected to deliver a final report in 12 to 18 months.

Once the province receives the final report, it will be tabled in the legislature and made public.

A criminal investigation into the incident is also underway, and a $30-million lawsuit has been launched that names the mall owner, the city and the provincial government. None of those allegations have been proven in court.