A firefighter looks down from the second floor to the first following the partial roof collapse at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, June 23, 2012.
Credits: MICHAEL RAY NEELY
TORONTO -- Premier Dalton McGuinty will launch an independent public inquiry into the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake.
The premier issued a statement Friday afternoon in which he says the province has an obligation to do whatever it can to prevent a similar tragedy.
"I spoke to the families of Doloris Perizzolo and Lucie Aylwin in Elliot Lake on Wednesday and again today by telephone," McGuinty says. "These families -- and other Ontarians -- have raised important questions that deserve to be answered."
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has been pushing for a full inquiry.
"I think it's a serious incident and who knows if there's another one waiting to happen," she said. "There are serious questions about the response and a public inquiry has that independent ability to review all matters prior and after to make sure something like this never happens again. I think it's what the people of this community deserve."
The Ontario Ministry of Labour released its inspection reports of the mall, including a Jan. 11 visit in response to a complaint of a leaking roof.
The report notes that most of the top floor of the mall is outdoor parking.
"Leaks have occurred in the past despite a snow-removal program which involves and includes rubber blades," the report says. "On-going maintenance program is in place to patch leaks and attempt to identify source location.
The report says that mall is evaluating its options and will deal with the problem "on a permanent basis" in the spring or summer of 2012.
"No orders issued," the report says.