Hearing-challenged writer sounds call for apology to Chelsea, Quebec mayor

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by admin on September 29, 2010

he Editor,

I would like to respond to the unfair character assassination of Chelsea, Quebec Mayor Caryl Green in Jacques Cayer’s letter, “Plea to Chelsea Mayor Falls on Deaf Ears” (Low Down, Sept. 22 edition).

I am legally deaf with a profound hearing loss of 100 dB and I was at the same Sept. 13 council meeting that Mr. Cayer attended.

The meeting room was at capacity and the mayor announced question period was over, at which point everyone in the audience started to get up and move around when Mr. Cayer approached the microphone about 10 seconds too late, only to have his plea get drowned in all the noise.

I know that the mayor’s own mother suffers from hearing loss and this disability is close to her heart. For Mr. Cayer to actually write an open letter, alleging that the mayor refused to listen to his concerns, is a gross insult and he should write a letter of apology.

That being said, I agree with him that the room is ill-equipped and should have some amplification or a simple loop system in place, particularly since that same room is also used for court proceedings. This is the responsibility of the MRC as they own and manage the building.

I depend on reading lips, so I asked the mayor if I could sit on the same side of the room as the council members so I could hear better – but also see the speaker’s lips. She readily agreed. I suggest that Mr. Cayer stop playing the role of victim and advocate for himself in a more professional manner.

Jim Kyte

Chelsea, Quebec