Sudbury·ELLIOT LAKE

Mall collapse trial continues as victim's dad watches proceedings in Sault Ste. Marie

The trial of the former engineer who declared Elliot Lake, Ont.'s mall structurally sound just weeks before it collapsed in 2012, killing two women, continues today in Sault Ste. Marie with the Crown calling its first witnesses.

'He should get something,' says Rejean Aylwin of disgraced former engineer Robert Wood

The trial of discredited engineer Robert Wood continues Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court in Sault Ste. Marie, 200 kilometres from the site of the deadly 2012 mall collapse. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

The trial of the former engineer who declared Elliot Lake, Ont.'s mall structurally sound just weeks before it collapsed in 2012, killing two women, continues today in Sault Ste. Marie with the Crown calling its first witnesses.

On Tuesday, Robert Wood pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

The opening proceedings in Ontario Superior Court were quickly adjourned after the defence requested more time to review a photo the Crown wants to use as evidence.

Wood is the only person charged criminally in connection with the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall. The case is being heard by Justice Edward Gareau

Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74, were killed and more than a dozen people were injured. 

The northern Ontario community lost its economic and social hub. 

CBC reported in 2014 that Wood was stripped of his professional engineering licence in November of 2011 after admitting to misconduct unrelated to the mall.

But he continued to practise as a "graduate" engineer and owner of M.R. Wright based out of Sault Ste, Marie, Ont. with restrictions on what he could do. 

​A public inquiry report into the disaster found Wood's inspection — which had to be approved by a certified, licensed engineer — did not catch the dangerous level of corrosion of the mall's steel structure. Ontario Provincial Police laid criminal charges against Wood in January 2014.

The Crown in this case will try to argue that Wood demonstrated "wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others."

Rejean Aylwin, the father of one of the two women who died in the 2012 Elliot Lake mall collapse, speaks to reporters before the trial of disgraced engineer Robert Wood. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Despite the trial being held 200 kilometres from Elliot Lake, Rejean Aylwin is attending the proceedings in hopes of getting answers about what happened to his daughter, Lucie, who died in the collapse.

"More likely [Wood is] going to get out of it with nothing, but he should get something," he said. "Like, that should be prevented a long time ago. We can't make a closure yet. We got to find out the bottom, see what's going to happen.

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