TORONTO – Global National correspondent Jennifer Tryon had a brief run-in with police in Elliot Lake, Ont. on Friday afternoon after trying to file a freedom-of-information request for documents that media were told would be made public.
The documents being requested, under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, were the records of inspections allegedly done on the Algo Centre Mall which collapsed on Saturday – killing two people.
Tryon went to the city hall building in Elliot Lake on Friday in order to file an application for the documents and upon telling an employee she was a member of the media , was told to leave.
Upon asking ‘why,’ Tryon says the employee picked up a phone and called the police. Tryon says the employee was told by superiors to call police if anyone – civilian or a member of the media – asked for documents on the ill-fated mall.
“We were only doing what we were told to do,” a city hall employee said.
Three police officers responded to the scene.
Upon their arrival, Tryon was provided with an FOI application, and the city hall employees were told not to call 911 if someone asks for public documents, no matter what their superiors tell them.
The responding police officer told Global News that they have a “vested interest” in exactly who is requesting information about the collapsed mall.
Tryon tweeted the chain of events, and recorded what she could.