|Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty addresses the crowd in Elliot Lake on Wednesday June 27, 2012 afternoon, following the rescue mission at the Algo Centre Mall. (GINO DONATO/QMI AGENCY)
ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has promised financial assistance for Elliot Lake as it begins a long cleanup after the destruction of its only mall.
Before he left the northern Ontario city, McGuinty committed to economic assistance to help those who lost jobs and businesses.
“Some folks lost their jobs here. Hopefully those (jobs) will come back but we are going to have to provide them some income support,” he told reporters Thursday morning.
“It was more than a retail centre. There were social services, there was a library in there. It was important to the community in so many different ways. We are looking into the future to see what we can do to assist in economic development generally.”
He didn’t offer an amount, but said there are a number of current provincial programs the city could tap into.
There has been no word whether the mall will be rebuild or completely torn down after the roof caved in Saturday afternoon, killing two - an employee and a patron.
The recovery efforts destroyed much of the remaining structure around the affected area, as heavy machinery tore down walls and removed large chunks of concrete in an attempt to safely reach possible trapped victims.
Fund created for employees
As fund has been created by city residents to help temporarily support employees of the Algo Centre Mall who lost their jobs as a result of the tragic roof collapse.
The Algo Mall Employee Disaster Fund, in response to offers from across the country, will operate until July 31.
The public can make donations at the following bank branches in Elliot Lake.
• ScotiaBank, 1 Manitoba Road, account number 002-57422-0085928.
• Royal Bank of Canada, 2 Saskatchewan Road, account number 003-01342-1002146.
• TD Canada Trust, 17 Nova Scotia Walk, account number 004-23842-03385206244.
• BMO Bank of Montreal, 17 Mary Walk, account number 001-2404-8996-667.
The Northern Credit Union is also setting up an Elliot Lake Relief Fund to help those affected by the collapse of the roof.
Public contributions are welcome at any Northern Credit Union branch. For a list of branch locations please visit northerncu.com.
- Kevin McSheffrey