10/16/2014


A summary follows of key Elliot Lake Inquiry recommendations of interest to the municipal sector.

Structural Integrity (Part One) recommendations:

  • 1.1: There should be province-wide minimum structural maintenance standards for all buildings in Ontario.
  • 1.2: The regulation outlined in Recommendation 1.1 should include a requirement that all buildings be watertight, structurally sound, and not unsafe, and be maintained in such a way as to keep them in that condition for a reasonable period (the “Minimum Structural Maintenance Standard”).
  • 1.7: The Structural Adequacy Report should be provided to the owner of the building and simultaneously filed on a publicly accessible registry called the Structural Condition Registry. AMO Comment: it is not clarified where the Structural Condition Registry is to be housed. We would suggest that it would be more appropriately maintained at the provincial level.
  • 1.8: If the structure engineer concludes that the condition of the building does not meet the Minimum Structural Maintenance Standard, he or she should be required to provide a copy of the Structural Adequacy Report, which must set out the repairs or maintenance required to rectify the situation, to the municipality’s chief building official.
  • 1.9: The chief building official of each municipality should have the authority to issue an order requiring repairs to a building that does not meet the Minimum Structural Maintenance Standard.
  • 1.11: If the chief building official decides to issue an order requiring repair of a building, in the situation described in Recommendation 1.10, that order, together with written reasons therefor, should be served on the owner of the building and filed on the Structural Condition Registry. If the official decides not to issue an order requiring repair of the building, he or she must issue a written document explaining why no such order is required, and that document should be served on the owner and filed on the Structural Condition Registry.
  • 1.14: Where the municipality undertakes work under an order as outlined in Recommendation 1.12, the municipality should have a lien on the land for the amount spent on the renovation or repair.
  • 1.17: The existing standards for training and certification of building officials and inspectors under the Building Code Act should be amended to require mandatory continuing education.
  • 1.18: The Building Code Act should be amended to provide that building officials and inspectors are public office holders who are independent of the municipal council, but that it is entirely appropriate for the council or the chief administrative officer of the municipality to direct a concern to the attention of the building official to be dealt with as he or she sees fit.
  • 1.22: Municipalities should be required to keep a record, listed by municipal address, of every complaint received by a municipal official of a breach of a property standards by-law, the regulations of the Building Code Act, or the Building Code that relates to the structural capacity, watertightness, or safety of a building, whether that complaint was received in writing or not. This record should be of the action taken by the municipality and the remedial action taken by the owner and should be in electronic form and easily accessed by any member of the public.
Emergency Management (Part Two) recommendations:
  • 2.1: The capacity to respond to structural collapse emergencies should be increased in Ontario.
  • 2.6: Statutory authority should give jurisdiction to a coroner to authorize entry to a building, by any safe means including demolition, for the purpose of retrieving a body.
  • 2.11: Provincial media and communications expertise should be made available, either as a stand-alone service or as part of incident support teams, to municipalities during declared emergencies or where provincial resources have been used.
  • 2.13: Training for rescue and recovery operations should stress providing the public with timely and accurate information about casualties and the progress of a rescue operation (subject to legitimate operational requirements).
  • 2.32: Ontario should clarify the roles and responsibilities of Ministry of Labour inspectors and engineers at the scene of an ongoing rescue or recovery effort.
  • 2.34: Timely debriefings and after-action reports should be mandatory for all agencies and organizations involved in rescue and recovery operations where an emergency has been declared or where provincial resources have been called in to assist. The after-action reports should be shared among all agencies involved.
  • 2.35: The Government of Ontario and other institutions identified in this Report should issue a public report within one year on their response to these recommendations and what steps, if any, they are taking to implement them.