Ontario's Commitments in Response to the Inquiry Report
Given the scope and magnitude of the Report of the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry, the Ontario government will take time to conduct a comprehensive review.
However, in its initial response, Ontario will commit to acting on the following recommendations:
Recommendations addressing causes of collapse:
- Recommendation 1.16 - An advisory panel should be established as soon as possible to determine the appropriate classes of buildings, grouped by risk and the consequences of failure, and to make recommendations no later than 12 months from the release of this report.
In addition, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will consult with its stakeholders, including municipal partners, on how to move forward with the remaining recommendations that pertain to the ministry.
- Recommendation 1.33 - Ministry of Labour occupational health and safety inspectors should receive more comprehensive training on issues related to structural soundness, water-tightness and building safety.
In addition, the Ministry of the Attorney General will work with Professional Engineers Ontario to implement the Commissioner's recommendations directed at strengthening the engineering profession, for example:
- Recommendation 1.4 - For buildings to which the recommendations apply (large buildings such as the Algo Centre Mall), Professional Engineers Ontario should enunciate a Performance Standard for the prescribed structural inspection.
- Recommendation 1.5 - The prescribed structural inspection should be conducted in accordance with the Performance Standard by a structural engineering specialist who has met the Professional Engineers of Ontario qualifications and requirements to be so certified.
- Recommendation 1.6 - After conducting a structural inspection in accordance with the Professional Engineers of Ontario Performance Standard, the structural engineering specialist should complete a Structural Adequacy Report to determine whether the building meets the Minimum Structural Maintenance Standard and, if it does not, to describe what repairs and maintenance are required in order for the building to meet that standard.
- Recommendation 1.24 - Professional Engineers Ontario should establish a system of mandatory continuing professional education for its members as soon as possible, and in any event no later than 18 months from the release of the report.
- Recommendation 1.26 - Professional Engineers Ontario should provide, for the benefit of the public, the following information on its public website in a format readily and easily searchable by the name of the PEO member:
- the name of every licensee and every holder of a certificate of authorization
- the terms, conditions, and limitations attached to the licence or certificate of authorization
- a note of every revocation, suspension, cancellation, or termination of a licence or certificate of authorization
- information concerning upcoming Discipline Committee hearings, where a Notice of Hearing has been issued
- information concerning any findings of professional misconduct or incompetence, for a period of 10 years from the date of the finding(s), so long as the Discipline Committee had ordered publication with names
- Such other information as the Registration Committee or Discipline Committee directs.
Recommendations addressing emergency response:
- Recommendation 2.4 - On request, the province should make incident support teams available to incident commanders.
- Recommendation 2.11 - Provincial media and communications expertise should be made available, either as a stand-alone service or as part of incident support teams, to municipalities during declared emergencies or where provincial resources have been used.
- Recommendation 2.14 - Where multiple agencies are present at a rescue operation, they should have continuous access at the command level to common-frequency radios or communications equipment.
- Recommendation 2.27 -The OPP should implement a duty roster requiring:
- a minimum number of commanding officers who can serve in the command structure of an emergency response and represent the Urban Search and Rescue and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Response Team (UCRT) therein; and
- a sufficient number of commanders who can lead UCRT forces on the ground and be available to respond in a deployment.
- Recommendation 2.30 -The OPP (and all initial first responders) should forward as soon as possible to the deployed rescue team any photographs that have been taken of an emergency.
- Recommendation 2.32 - Ontario should clarify the roles and responsibilities of Ministry of Labour inspectors and engineers at the scene of an ongoing rescue or recovery effort.
- Recommendation 2.33 - The Ministry of Labour should use section 21 committees to further ensure that first responders are knowledgeable about the role and authority of the ministry and how it compares and contrasts with its own responsibilities during an emergency. ("Section 21 committees" are committees created under section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to advise the Ministry of Labour on specialized occupational health and safety matters.)
Recommendations addressing the inquiry process:
- Recommendation 2.35 - The Government of Ontario and other institutions identified in the report should issue a public report within one year on their response to these recommendations and what steps, if any, they are taking to implement them.
- Recommendation 2.36 - The Ministry of the Attorney General should prepare and keep current a toolkit of policies and relevant documents for newly appointed commissioners and administrative staff.
- Recommendation 2.37 -The Ministry of the Attorney General should appoint an independent assessment officer and pay the accounts of the participants' lawyers as expeditiously as possible.
- Recommendation 2.38 -In imposing a deadline for the work of an inquiry, the Ministry of the Attorney General should consider a reasonable period for the setup of the inquiry.