Published on: 7/29/2014 10:56:21 AM Print | Font Sizes:  Normal Text Large Text

Redaction request rejected by mall inquiry judge

By: Northern Ontario Business staff

A request to omit portions of a report on the Elliot Lake roof mall collapse has been rejected by the presiding judge.

The request was made by Robert Wood, who was charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm under the Criminal Code following an investigation into the June 23, 2012 incident. Wood was the last engineer to inspect the mall roof, deeming its structure sound before it collapsed, killing two women and injuring 20 others.

Wood had requested that portions of the report prepared by Justice Paul Belanger, the presiding judge at the Elliot Lake Inquiry into the incident, be redacted to allow for him to receive a fair trial.

Belanger rejected the request. Among his findings, the judge indicated that removing portions of the report could actually do more harm than good, leading to speculation and making his findings seem unsubstantiated.

He also emphasized the public’s right to know.

“Such a redaction order would prevent the publication of a possibly important and integral part of the report, which the public and the community of Elliot Lake have been waiting for for over two years,” he wrote.

Belanger’s report is scheduled to be released in October.

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