NEWS

Elliot Lake mall drops bid for funds to appear at roof collapse inquiry

10/26/2012 11:11 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST
The company that owns the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., has withdrawn its request for the province to fund its participation in the public inquiry into the fatal roof collapse of the shopping centre.

The inquiry, launched in July, will examine the circumstances surrounding the roof collapse, which killed two women.

On Friday, lawyers for the mall owners were to appear before the commission to defend their position for funding.

Eastwood Mall Incorporated and two of its officers, Robert Nazarian and Levon Nazarian, had applied for funding to pay for four lawyers, accommodation in Elliot Lake, as well as money for photocopies, faxes and the retention of experts.

But on Thursday, lawyers for the company submitted to the commission that they will no longer be asking for public funding.

Unless advised otherwise by the commission, they will not be attending Friday's hearing. However, the company and its representatives will still submit its application for standing.

Elliot Lake city Coun. Tom Farquhar is anxious for the start of the inquiry, which will look at the structural integrity of the mall and how emergency crews reacted to the event.

"I would like the public inquiry to get started," Farquhar said.

"I would like the public inquiry to do all its due diligence, get completed. That will be the final part of the community healing."

The hearings on standing are expected to take until noon on Friday. The commission doesn't expect any decisions to be made for a few weeks.

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