A hearing into the collapse of a mall's rooftop parking lot almost nine months ago begins Monday as a public inquiry delves into the tragedy that killed two women and left a community bereft.
The inquiry, expected to hear from as many as 75 witnesses and last into the summer, will attempt to shed light on why concrete and debris poured down on hapless Algo Centre Mall shoppers and staff last June 23.
The two-phased inquiry will also examine the adequacy of the emergency response and rescue efforts that were called off right after responders said they had detected signs of life in the rubble.
Commissioner Paul Belanger, who hopes to report by the end of January, has already stressed his mandate, as with all public inquiries, is to find out what happened, not to assign blame.
Still, assigning blame is important for the families of the two victims, Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74, who are suing several parties for their deaths.
"We're looking forward to the evidence that establishes who's at fault," said lawyer Roger Oatley, who speaks for the families.