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Elliot Lake Mall Collapse

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Discredited engineer Robert Wood is facing two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Wood signed off on a report declaring the Algo Centre Mall "structurally sound" just weeks before a portion of its rooftop parking deck caved in.

Two women — Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74 — were killed and more than a dozen others were injured. The northern Ontario community lost its economic and social hub. 

"I'm glad to see this trial proceeding, and thought it has been a long time coming," said Gary Gendron, who was engaged to Aylwin. 

'Markedly inferior'

Wood inspected the Algo Centre Mall in 2009 and 2012. He noted steel supports showed surface rusting, but there was "no visual distress."

In a public inquiry that followed the mall collapse, Commissioner Paul Belanger made special mention of Wood's work and conduct, calling it "markedly inferior."

"His work provided unfounded assurances that gave the mall owner a documented excuse to continue doing nothing," Belanger wrote in his 2014 report.

"His review was similar to that of a mechanic inspecting a car with a cracked engine block who pronounces the vehicle sound because of its good paint job."

Reports changed to appease owner

Wood admitted to changing his 2012 inspection report after he and his partner signed off. He omitted a photo that showed yellow tarps strung up to collect water that was leaking from the roof and a corroded steel beam. He also removed a reference to "ongoing" leakage. 

The changes were made, Wood told the inquiry, at the request of the mall's owner, Bob Nazarian, who was trying to refinance the building.

These changes constituted "misleading" and "unprofessional behaviour" by Wood, Belanger wrote. 

In a 2011 conversation relayed to the inquest, Wood was cited telling a prospective buyer it would cost $1.5 million to fix the mall's roof and reportedly warned the structure had to be fixed or the roof would cave in.

Wood told the inquiry he could barely recall any such conversation.

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If this were Pakistan, the chances of criminal indictment would be zero. Whats your take?


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You are right, we lack in professionalism and justice because no matter how qualified one becomes in Pakistan, ethics are still left out due to absence of fear of judgement/punishment/morality.

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