Written by The Canadian Press   
Nov. 9, 2012, Toronto – The head of a probe into a fatal mall collapse in northern Ontario has decided the mall’s owners will not get public funding to participate in the inquiry.

Commissioner Paul Belanger says Bob Nazarian and his son Levon Nazarian have not shown sufficient evidence to have Ontario taxpayers pay their legal bills.

The rules of the inquiry allow Belanger to recommend to the attorney general whether the province should pick up the tab for parties to take part in the inquiry.

The Nazarians’ funding application argued they can’t afford to participate since the mall was their own source of income.

They also pointed to multimillion-dollar civil suits they face over the mall collapse, which killed two women and injured several others when the roof caved in on June 23rd.

But Belanger disagreed, saying it’s impossible to get an estimate of the Nazarians’ finances.

Eighteen people and organizations — including relatives of the two women — had applied for formal recognition by the inquiry, which is due to start hearing evidence in the new year.

Belanger granted full or partial standing to 14 of them, including the victims’ families, who will receive funding.

Reposted:  11/10/12 1320 Hours PST

Courtesy: The Canadian Press