About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

City Being Charged by MOL for Warren Death

Earlier this month, the City said that the Ontario Ministry of Labour was close to finishing its investigation into the death of 14-year-old Isabel Warren in a wall collapse in a southend washroom last spring. Well, it seems that the province concluded their findings and are charging the City under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for responsibility for the accident. Here's the statement made by the Office of Chief Administrative Officer this morning.

As part of its pledge to keep the public apprised of developments relating to the June 16, 2009 tragedy in South End Community Park which took the life of Isabel Warren, the City is letting it be known that it received notice yesterday that it has been charged by the Ministry of Labour under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to the accident.

The City joined our entire community last year in mourning Isabel Warren. Like each of you, we are devastated by her death and saddened that it occurred in a well-loved community space. City Council and staff continue to offer their sympathies to the Warren family.

Immediately following the accident, the City inspected a number of City-owned washrooms and, as a precaution, temporarily closed the washrooms in St. George’s Park, Hanlon Creek Park, and Guelph Lake Sports Fields. The City retained an independent structural engineering firm to assess those facilities and based on its recommendation, re-opened one of the washrooms, and kept the other two closed until upgrades could be completed last fall.

As a further precaution, the City has since issued a Request for Proposals for building assessments and reviews to be carried out for a number of City facilities.

We understand that members of the public entrust the City to see to it that public facilities are safe. I wish to assure members of the community that public safety is of paramount importance to the City of Guelph. Although there are many parties involved in ensuring buildings are designed, approved, built, permitted and inspected for safety, we acknowledge our role in this process.

With respect to the charges, the City is seeking legal advice and will be responding.

At this time the City is not aware whether any other parties have been or may be charged in relation to the accident in South End Community Park.

The City will continue, to the extent that it can, to make information available as this process continues.

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