Elliott Lake mall collapse – whither Dalton and Harper

People of Elliott Lake abandoned in time of great need

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Mall collapse… a pancake fail. Whither the elected officials? Dalton and Stephen. From the Soo Today photo files.

BY TERRANCE GAVAN – Rumble and Rant – Shrike.ca Editorial

There are few words of solace available for the people of Elliott Lake who had to watch as three levels of government stood transfixed, mute and dumb after a poorly constructed and apparently shoddily maintained mall collapsed on members of the community.

For those of us who forgot. Elliott Lake is a community of retirees, a town that envisioned itself as Victoria North at one point of a fairy tale paradigm. So if you’re wondering why the people interviewed in the wake of this catastrophe all look a little past their prime? That’s the reason.

But Elliott Lake, or their municipal council to be more exact, lost its way somewhere between “vision” and completion of this idyllic retirement community. Maybe the mall is part of that failed dream. God knows, if we can believe the eye witness testimony to a cacophony of infrastructure anomalies, the owners of this complex are in for some pretty heavy hits when we finally dig out of this current clusterduck.

The owner is watching from his Richmond Hill manse… and pleading the fifth. That’s why we love lawyers. Shakespeare was right. God help him, because the optics are not good. When your mall is leaking like a sieve and you’re parking salt-sludged cars above those leaks? You got some explaining to do pal. So if you won’t talk? Grab a shovel. Or get the hell out of dodge. Time to bring back the stocks? And rotten tomatoes in the town square? Your call peeps.

You know where I stand. Sometimes the courts don’t do it for me.

More important? Where are Dalton McGuinty and Stephen Harper. Step up gents. We’re sick and tired of politicians sitting on their hands in the crucible of the 48 hour window. Both of these well paid guys did that. When the search was called off for safety reasons? Where were the guys that had the power to call in the troops.

Heaven knows. But please remember that we’ve got options come the next election.

Don’t let the leaders of the provincial grits or that manicured dove from the federal PCs give you the nudge and the wink.

Time heals all wounds. Time wounds all heels. Let’s hope the latter supersedes the former. Mark this date down on your Google calendars people and place a star beside it.

And while we’re at it.

Let’s remember the people who are still waiting for news of their relatives and friends who remain trapped in the rubble.

While an owner, a premiere and a prime minister remain mute, deaf and dumb.

Shit Canada.

We deserve better than this from the guys we elected.

And we demand better than this from entrepreneurs.

The first two? We can deal with at the polls.

The other guy? The guy who zipped his great gaping maw on the advice of his shylock?

Should do some time on this.

And hopefully the families of the bodies in the rubble?

Will be there in court.

This is a travesty.


Tim Alamenciak , Staff Reporter

ELLIOT LAKE, ONT.— Hundreds of people gathered in front of Algo Centre Mall Tuesday evening and stared in hope and awe at the giant mechanical arm that had arrived from Toronto.

Cheers erupted when it moved along a road paved especially for it and started tearing away parts of the wall of the collapsed building, where two people are confirmed to be inside.

Hundreds of people are clinging to hope that their friends and family will come out of the rubble alive, as engineers assess whether the building is stable enough for search dogs and rescue workers to be sent in.

There are still 12 people listed as missing, including 37-year-old Lucie Aylwin, who was working at the lottery kiosk directly underneath the cave-in site.

“We still cannot determine how many people are there,” said OPP Inspector Percy Jollymore. “We just don’t know.”

MORE: Concrete expert says salt seepage could have weakened Elliot Lake mall roof

Rescuers worked frantically throughout the night Tuesday, shoring up the balconies of the building and planning Wednesday’s operations.

The renewed rescue efforts have buoyed the spirits of the community. Glass carboys have become ubiquitous, filled with the change of concerned citizens chipping in to help those affected. Men and women walk around handing out bottles of water.