Engineer discipline records filed in mall collapse inquiry
Professional Engineers of Ontario asking Elliot Lake Inquiry to keep documents private
The association that regulates engineers in Ontario is fighting to keep discipline records connected to the Algo Centre Mall confidential.
It's one of two confidentiality applications before the commission of public inquiry that's examining the deadly roof collapse in Elliot Lake.
The Professional Engineers of Ontario is responsible for regulating and licensing all engineers.
The commission asked the organization to provide files containing any relevant complaints or disciplinary action, said Peter Doody, counsel for the Elliot Lake inquiry.
"They provided that information and they have asked the inquiry for an order that they be treated confidentially and not made public," he said.
In the application for that confidentiality order the association argues it has a duty to protect the privacy of its members.
'Inconsistent' with purpose of public inquiry
The owners of the Algo Centre Mall have also made a similar request for what they deem 'sensitive' financial information provided to the commission.
Toronto media lawyer Paul Schabas said the parties will try to convince the commissioner that the information needs to stay out of the public eye, but: "Any sort of confidentiality at a public inquiry is sort of inconsistent with the whole purpose of a public inquiry," he said.
The decision on whether to grant either request rests with Justice Paul Belanger, who’s expected to decide before the public inquiry gets underway in the new year.
"The public inquiries act provides for confidentiality orders only where the public interest in openness is out-weighed by the interest in keeping a particular document confidential," Doody explained.
"So the commission is asked to weigh the competing interests and decide which one comes out on top."