Statement from Attorney General on Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry Final Report
Today, Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur made the following statement on receipt of the final report of the Elliot Lake Public Inquiry:
"On behalf of the Ontario government, my heart goes out to the families and loved ones of Mrs. Doloris Perizzolo and Ms. Lucie Aylwin, and to the entire community of Elliot Lake for their loss. The collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake was a tragedy made all the more heartbreaking because it was so preventable -- as the Commissioner makes clear. Failing to learn from this event would be a further tragedy. We will not allow that to happen.
Two years ago, our government established this inquiry to determine just how such an event could have occurred.
After months of public hearings, policy discussions and intense research, Commissioner Paul Bélanger has produced a thorough and thought-provoking report.
While an independent public inquiry was the best way to ensure an impartial exploration of the issues at the heart of the tragedy, many lessons were immediately clear. That's why we moved quickly to act on them, such as through additional training and information for occupational health and safety inspectors and engineers.
But that was just the start. Commissioner Bélanger's report now leads us from this point forward.
Some recommendations can be implemented fairly quickly - others will require consultation and collaboration between ministries and cooperation with our municipal, industry, agency partners and professional groups.
Starting today, we will immediately act on a number of recommendations:
- We will establish an advisory panel and begin consulting with stakeholders, including our municipal partners on how to move forward with the recommendations.
- We will develop guidelines and work with first responders to clarify the role and responsibilities of Ministry of Labour inspectors and engineers at the scene of an ongoing rescue or recovery effort.
- We will review the Incident Management System doctrine that guides first responders when multiple agencies are involved in the response, and outlines how command is structured.
I am confident that we can all learn from this report. The advice contained within it will help to guide our decision-making as we move forward in creating a safer Ontario."