Public hearings as part of the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof in Elliot Lake are expected to start the week of March 4.
The hearings will go ahead provided the construction of the hearing room, located in the Elliot Lake Centre for Development, is completed in time and the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry receives all documents required to proceed, according to a Jan. 9 statement issued by Justice Paul R. Bélanger.
The commission has been gathering information to prepare for the inquiry and has issued summonses to more than 100 individuals, companies and organizations to get documents relevant to the investigation, according to Bélanger, the inquiry’s commissioner.
“We have so far received approximately 280,000 documents and my team is diligently reviewing, categorizing and classifying them,” Bélanger said in the statement. “A substantial number is still outstanding, however, and that gives me cause for concern if we are to complete our work within the time period stipulated in our mandate.”
He added that investigators have already interviewed 250 people.
A part of the roof at the Algo Centre Mall collapsed June 23, 2011, killing Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Dolores Perizzolo, 74, and injuring 20 others. The mall also served as a kind of community gathering place for residents. Demolition of the mall started in early January.
Last October, Bélanger heard applications for standing and funding, granting standing to 14 people and funding to three groups. In December, he ruled against a publication ban on documents submitted by the mall’s owners, Robert and Levon Nazarian (Eastwood Mall Inc.), and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.
During the proceedings, seats for the public will be available in the hearing room and all the proceedings will be broadcast live over the internet, according to the statement.