NEWS

Leaking at Elliot Lake mall was obvious: former manager

06/11/2013 11:33 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT
The last manager of the ill-fated Algo Centre Mall has told the Elliot Lake Inquiry that damage to drywall and ceiling tiles indicated the mall's leaking roof was not new problem.

Rhonda Lendt testified Tuesday morning that code deficiencies at the mall were a priority when she started work there, not the leaking roof.

Known as Rhonda Bear before she married, she also lived in the hotel attached to the mall at the time of the collapse, which killed two women and injured dozens of others in June of last year.

Lendt's testimony follows Monday's testimony from a Barrie businessman, who tried to buy the mall on several occasions in the years just prior to the deadly roof collapse last summer.

Ron McCowan eventually reached an agreement to purchase the mall for $5.7 million in 2011 — less than the $6.2 million owner Robert Nazarian paid when he acquired the mall from Retirement Living in 2005.

The public inquiry — established in July 2012 by the Ontario government — has been underway in Elliot Lake since March.

It was created to report on events surrounding the mall roof's collapse, the deaths of Lucie Aylwin and Doloris Perizzolo, the injuries to others and the emergency management and response.

The hearings are expected to conclude with testimony from former premier Dalton McGuinty on Sept. 12.

Follow a live blog of the hearings from CBC Reporter Megan Thomas:

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