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Ontario's Response to Algo Centre Mall Collapse - 2012 to Present


Ontario's Response to Algo Centre Mall Collapse - 2012 to Present

Ministry of the Attorney General

Since the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in June 2012, Ontario has taken a number of steps:

Better training and information - Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Key initiatives include:

  • Amending the Building Code Act in 2014 to include a requirement that architects and/or engineers design and review large, complex buildings.
  • Updating the Municipal Councillor's Guide to enhance awareness of municipal responsibilities to help keep buildings safe through the enforcement of Ontario's Building Code Act.
  • Improving access to Building Code training by making it available through Ontario's community colleges, and working to make it available online.
  • Updating Building Code qualification and registration requirements. Starting in January 2015, building practitioners subject to the requirements -- including municipal building officials -- will have to register annually. Information about building officials' qualifications is also available to the public through an online qualification and registration system.

Improving emergency response - Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ontario Provincial Police and Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management

Key initiatives include:

  • Reviewing the Incident Management System doctrine that guides first responders when multiple agencies are involved in the response, and outlines how command is structured.
  • Providing joint training opportunities between the OPP's Urban Search and Rescue, Chemical/Biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives response team and Toronto's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team (e.g. fall 2014 structural collapse exercise in Windsor).
  • Planning for the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management to work with its municipal fire partners to discuss the development of local incident support teams under the existing mutual aid system. These teams would be made up of experienced incident commanders and would be available to assist municipalities dealing with significant incidents.
  • Supporting municipalities in providing emergency information to their residents via social media and websites, and deploying liaison officers to strengthen communications.
  • The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has also started implementing recommendations from its own Elliot Lake After Action Report which was completed in 2013.

Reporting practices for occupational health and safety inspectors - Ministry of Labour

Key initiatives include:

  • Launching a new quality assurance program for all inspectors this fall. This will complement the ministry's existing rigorous training program for new recruits and comprehensive refresher training to keep existing inspectors up-to-date.
  • Providing mandatory note-taking training and adopting electronic investigation tools, such as digital audio statements, to ensure greater consistency and quality of inspector's reports.
  • Reviewing policies and procedures on how and when to share information between municipal building departments and ministry inspectors.
  • Hiring seven new engineers to support inspectors in their field activities, including a structural engineer who has been placed in the Northern Ontario Region.
  • Continuing an intensive training program for new Ministry of Labour engineers, including a more robust component on the role of engineers in providing expert engineering advice.
  • Improving the way emails to the Ministry of Labour's website are handled, to better ensure all complaints receive prompt attention from the appropriate office.

Clarifying the role of Ministry of Labour staff in an emergency response

The Ministry of Labour has already begun to look at ways to clarify the role of ministry staff in an emergency response situation by reviewing its policy regarding the role of inspectors on what to do when there are multiple first responders on the scene. Once these guidelines have been finalized, inspectors will be trained on the new procedure and an outreach strategy to first responders will be developed and implemented.

Media Contacts

  • Christine Burke

    Minister’s Office, Ministry of the Attorney General


  • Brendan Crawley

    Communications Branch, Ministry of the Attorney General


  • Lauren Callighen

    Minister's Office, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services


  • Andrew Morrison

    Communications Branch, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services


  • Bruce Skeaff

    Communications Branch, Ministry of Labour


  • Craig Macbride

    Minister’s Office, Ministry of Labour


  • Conrad Spezowka

    Communications Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing


  • Mark Cripps

    Minister’s Office, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing