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Mall collapse report won't be kept secret

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 28, 2014 - 12:10 PM |
A discredited former engineer has lost his bid to keep parts of a report into the deadly collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake. File photo.

A discredited former engineer has lost his bid to keep parts of a report into the deadly collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake. File photo.

OTTAWA - A discredited former engineer has lost his bid to keep parts of a report into the deadly collapse of a northern Ontario mall secret until after his criminal trial.

Robert Wood argued that potentially adverse findings in the Elliot Lake mall collapse inquiry report, due by the end of October, could jeopardize his right to a fair trial on charges of criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm.

A trio of media organizations — The Canadian Press, the Globe and Mail and CBC — argued that Wood's request ran counter to the public interest and open nature of the proceedings.

Commissioner Paul Belanger dismissed Wood's application today, saying in a decision that Wood failed to show that publication of the report would pose a serious threat to his fair trial rights.

Belanger's commission of inquiry wrapped up public hearings into the June 2012 tragedy last October.

Wood had attested to the structural soundness of the Algo Centre Mall in an inspection report he altered to downplay the building's state of disrepair.

Weeks after that report part of the rooftop parking deck caved in, killing two women and injuring several other people.

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