Elliot Lake mall was critical to attracting retirees
Fixes to deadly mall continued to wait as city aggressively pursued its retirement living brand
At the public inquiry into a deadly mall collapse last year in Elliot Lake, there are questions about whether the optics of a successful, bustling mall to attract retirees to the city might have had any impact on what officials did to attend to the Algo Centre Mall.
The former chief administrative officer with the city of Elliot Lake, Fred Bauthus, testified city meetings were underpinned — at least in part — by the city's retirement community branding strategy.
The senior counsel for the commission, Peter Doody, asked Bauthus to recall city meetings in the late 90s about how to position the mall as an attractive centerpiece to prospective retirees.
Bauthus acknowledged to Doody the mall would continue to be a viable entity in the city. As Elliot Lake tried to build an attractive retirement brand after losing mining as its economic engine, retirees were expected to be the economic driver.
One of the crown jewels in the retirement package was a convenient, central shopping and social hub in the Algo Centre Mall.
Retirement Living is the organization in Elliot Lake that handled that marketing strategy for the city and the inquiry will continue to see just how involved it was in the decisions made at the mall.
Retirement living evenutally bought the retail space in 1999, when the leaks still hadn't been fixed.
Elliot Lake Inquiry schedule of testimony:
|Witness Name||Dates (subject to change)|
|Roger Pigeau, Former Chief Building Official, City of Elliot Lake||March 22 and 25|
|Fred Bauthus, Former Chief Administrative Officer, City of Elliot Lake *Will only speak to the first period he acted as CAO, namely February 1990 to July 2000||March 26, 2013|
|Barbara Cloughley, Former Personnel Manager, Woolco, Former tenant of Mall||March 27, 2013|
|Robert Leistner, Former General Manager and Vice President, Algoma Central Properties||March 27-28, 2013|
|Warwick Perrin, President, Ontario Association of Property Standards Officer Inc.||April 2, 2013|
|Larry Burling, Former Clerk, City of Elliot Lake||April 2, 2013|
|Ken Snow, Former Maintenance Foreman, Algoma Central Properties and Retirement Living||April 3, 2013|
|Paul Meyer, Structural Engineer, P. Meyer Engineering, hired by Algoma Central Properties||April 4, 2013|
|Albert Celli, Engineer, Halsall||April 5, 2013|
|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 17-18, 2013|
|Rhona Guertin, Comptroller, Retirement Living||April 19-22, 2013|