“We are continuing to collect and review relevant documents, interview people who may have information to assist the work of the inquiry, and to work on the overview documents contemplated by the Rules of Procedure”, writes Lead Inquiry Counsel Robert Centa in a statement to The Public Record this week.
The last public update from the Inquiry Commission was on July 27, 2020 – over a year ago.
The Inquiry does not have a timeline for its next public hearing, or for what the main inquiry hearings will begin.
Witness Interviews Underway
In April 2021, lawyers for the City of Hamilton told Council the Inquiry was interviewing City staff who are witnesses to information the Inquiry is investigating.
The list of current and former city staff identified by the Inquiry was initially 36 witnesses when provided to the City in October 2020, this list expanded to 64 witnesses in January 2021.
Lawyers for the City of Hamilton told Council in April that interviews of these witnesses began in March.
Over 115,000 Documents Being Reviewed
The April report states the Inquiry Database of documents contains approximately 115,000 documents, and “it is expected that additional documents will be included in the Inquiry Database”.
Comparison to Collingwood Inquiry
No two public inquiries are the same. However, we can look to other inquiries to understand the processes and timelines involved.
The most recent municipal public inquiry was the Collingwood Inquiry which looked into the 2012 sale of the municipality’s share of the local hydro utility.
Collingwood Council called their inquiry in February 2018, and hearings began in April 2019 with the final public hearing in December 2018. The final report was released in November 2020.
The Inquiry Commission will issue a public notice announcing the start date of the public hearings. This notice will include the format of the hearings.
The public can follow the RHVPi on Twitter, where the Inquiry notifies the public of updates: @RHVPi
The Inquiry’s website is www.rhvpi.ca