Ontario Reports on Elliot Lake Recommendations
Province Making Buildings Safer, Improving Emergency Response Practices
Ontario is providing an update on its progress to address the recommendations of the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry.
The Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry was created on July 19, 2012, to investigate the events surrounding the Algo Centre Mall collapse, which claimed two lives and injured 19 others. Commissioner Paul Bélanger submitted his final report to the Attorney General on October 15, 2014.
Over the past year, Ontario has been working with municipal and industry partners to respond to the recommendations of the inquiry to make buildings safer, improve emergency response practices and procedures and ensure that any future public inquiries can be carried out as effectively as possible.
While additional research, consultation and planning continues to address many of the more complex, long-term changes called for in the report, Ontario has moved forward with a number of actions to date, including:
- Establishing an expert panel with representatives from the engineering and architecture professions, as well as municipalities, to provide advice to government on ways to improve the safety of existing buildings, including what buildings should be subject to mandatory inspection
- Supporting municipalities that request help when dealing with incidents by deploying Emergency Information Liaison Officers ─ trained crisis communicators ─ or by providing assistance remotely
- Running a large-scale provincial emergency management and heavy urban search and rescue exercise for emergency response officials that replicated the aftermath of an earthquake and included staged building and structural collapses
- Training Ministry of Labour inspectors in major incident policy and procedure and working to ensure that first responders are knowledgeable of the Ministry of Labour inspectors' roles during a crisis or emergency
- Developing an updated best practices guide for use by future public inquiry commissions.
Ontario stands by the community of Elliot Lake in its efforts to move forward from this tragic event. The province will continue to collaborate with municipal and industry partners and will publicly report once again on further progress within a year.
- The report produced by Commissioner Paul Bélanger for the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry recommended that the province publicly report on progress within one year.
“I’m pleased to report that our government’s work to date in response to Commissioner Bélanger’s recommendations is already making our buildings safer and improving our ability to respond to emergencies. I’m confident that what we have learned from this tragic event will continue to help us protect all citizens of Ontario.”