Architect sworn to secrecy over collapsed mall information
Agreement signed with Retirement Living kept architect from sharing information with the city of Elliot Lake
At the public inquiry into the fatal mall collapse in Elliot Lake last year, more evidence has been given about confidentiality agreements that kept information about the mall's condition out of the public's hands.
Previous evidence has shown a non-disclosure agreement was signed between the mall owners to keep inspection reports private.
On Wednesday, the commission heard about a second confidentiality agreement with a group of architects.
An architect working with Nichols Yallowega Belanger said he signed a confidentiality agreement with Retirement Living, when they hired the firm in 1998 to inspect the mall.
Michael Luciw told the commission that non-disclosure agreements between companies and architects aren’t common, but can happen. He noted it is more likely to happen with government agencies.
During his testimony, he referenced the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as an example.
"They ask us to sign them because they are at a very highly confidential level in terms of the planning," he said.
A second example he used was when court houses are designed.
"They ask us not to release any of that information so that the floor plans become public knowledge."
Luciw told the commission the agreement he had with Retirement Living kept him from sharing with the city of Elliot Lake any information he obtained during his inspection.
Prior to Luciw's inspection, Retirement Living also signed a non-disclosure agreement with the mall's original owner, Algoma Central.
A representative with Retirement Living is expected to start its testimony at the inquiry on Thursday.
Schedule of testimony:
|Witness Name||Dates (subject to change)|
|Michael Buckley, Engineer, Halsall||April 8, 2013|
|Jeff Truman, Engineer, Halsall||April 9, 2013|
|Michael A. Luciw, Architect, Yallowega Bélanger||April 10, 2013|
|Richard Quinn, Former Property Manager, Retirement Living||April 11, 2013|
|Blaine Nicholls, Architect, formerly with Nicholls Yallowega Bélanger||April 16, 2013|
|Richard Kennealy, General Manager, Retirement Living||April 17 and 18, 2013|
|Rhona Guertin, Comptroller, Retirement Living||April 19 and 22, 2013|
|Paul Officer, Fire Chief and Former Building Inspector and Chief Building Official, City of Elliot Lake||April 23, 2013|
|Brian McDonald, Project Manager, Construction Control||April 24, 2013|
|Troy Speck, Former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Elliot Lake||April 24 (and 25 if necessary), 2013|
|Chris Clouthier, Building Inspector, City of Elliot Lake||April 25, 2013|
|Syl Allard, Former Chief Building Official, City of Elliot Lake||April 29, 2013|
|Tom Derreck, Former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Elliot Lake||April 30, 2013|
|George Farkouh, Former Mayor, City of Elliot Lake||May 1 (and 2 if necessary), 2013|