Ex-premier Dalton McGuinty says calling off mall collapse search was 'shocking'

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty says he was shocked the rescue effort at the collapsed mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., was called off even though someone might have been alive in the rubble.

Testifying at the public inquiry into the tragedy, McGuinty said he found it unacceptable not to keep trying.

His concern, he said, was that doing nothing meant certain death.

He said he felt the community was owed another look at restarting the rescue.

Residents were stunned when the search was called off two days after the collapse in June 2012, but resumed after a late-evening call to rescue officials from McGuinty.

However, the effort came too late for two women, Doloris Perizzolo and Lucie Aylwin, who died in the rubble.

“My concern was to do nothing would be for death to ensue,” McGuinty testified.

“We had to try to do something.”

McGuinty is the final witness of the hearing phase of the inquiry.

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