Mike Mantha, the MPP for Algoma Manitoulin, is disappointed the Ontario government hasn’t implemented more recommendations from the inquiry examining the Elliot Lake mall collapse. The Belanger inquiry produced 71 recommendations and the Wynne Liberals are moving forward with some of the soft recommendations.
But Mantha says the Liberals are ignoring other recommendations like one where emergency crews collaborate with Ontario Mine Rescue. The New Democrat believes we can learn a lot from mine rescue including whether urban rescue teams can use mine rescue equipment and can training techniques be shared.
Mantha agrees with the Liberals that the more complex recommendations will take time to implement, but adds the mine rescue suggestion is not one of them. Mantha is also questioning the number of Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) teams currently in Ontario.
There are a couple of large teams but he says maybe it’s time medium sized teams were created and dispersed across the province to shorten response times to disasters like the one that occurred in Elliot Lake. Mantha is promising to keep the heat on the Liberals to ensure that all 71 recommendations are eventually implemented.
The roof top collapse at the Algo Centre Mall in June, 2012 killed two Elliot Lake women and injured almost two dozen people.