Shawinigan — The noise interferes with the communication, affects the activities, prevents relaxation and rest, leads to emotions that can cause stress or even cardiovascular problems. On Tuesday, Chantal Laroche, audiologist specializing in the effects of noise pollution on human being, came to scientifically document the inconvenience reported by class members at the beginning of this trial.
The expertise of the professor in the program of speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Ottawa has been asked in several cases comparable in recent years.
“The noise is one of the sources of stress the most widespread”, she said. “He has written a large amount of literature on the subject.”
In the framework of the thirteenth day of training at the palace of justice in Shawinigan, Mrs. Laroche testified for almost the whole day in the questions of Me Catherine Sylvestre, for the Coalition against noise. She has also produced two reports to the plaintiff in this action.
Its findings are mostly drawn from observation of another expert called to the bar at the beginning of the trial, Phat Nguyen, of the company Vinacoustik. It is also presented on the lake at the Tortoise for a period of two hours, on September 6, 2014. The testimonies of residents, his knowledge and experience in the field have served to corroborate his observations.
The expert has established a number of findings in its analysis work, but in the course of his testimony, she came back frequently on the unpredictability of the frequency of flights of seaplanes tourism. For example, the number of movements can change from 90 to 78, and then to 38 in three days, before climbing to 72 at the fourth day.
“You can’t describe this noise is intermittent,” she noted. “It lasts between sixty and eighty seconds, it can reach a maximum level quite high, up to 100 decibels. At this point, we reached the mechanical limit of the ear. Some people may react badly.”
From the first seconds of the takeoff of a seaplane, Ms. Laroche observes that the level of intelligibility achieved its minimum threshold. The interlocutors will not understand that 5 % of the information that they will try to convey by voice.
Asked by Me, new year’s eve to talk about the effects of these drawbacks, Ms. Laroche lists feelings such as discouragement, frustration, increased tension, bad mood.
The lack of control over the situation, as in the present case on the schedule of the flights of seaplanes, also comes “colour reaction”, according to her.
“People go to bed at night with the apprehension of what may happen the next day”, she noted. “How to plan activities, invite friends,… It is impossible to be able to plan.”
“With the floatplane, we reached a noise level very high. To 70 or 100 decibels, less lie down in the bottom of a garage, people will perceive noise. It does not go unnoticed. Like it or not the seaplane, once the noise is there, you can’t communicate.”
In popular perception, Ms. Laroche is well known that the damage caused by the noise are sometimes interchanged.
“The noise does not die of a stroke”, is it. “This is not like the water to be intoxicated. But what experts and studies we are learning is that the noise is a stress recognized, which can lead to health problems.”
Invited to give his interpretation of the complaints filed by citizens disturbed by the noise, it ensures that these complaints do not indicate any.
“It is the tip of the iceberg” illustrates it. “It does not give the perfect portrait of the situation, because people will get discouraged when they find that it doesn’t go forward.”
“Complaints, it manifests something. A collective action, it shows that people have exhausted all the means at their disposal without having obtained satisfaction.”
It gets tough
In the late afternoon, Me Myriam Brixi, representative of Bel-Air Laurentien aviation, has begun the cross-examination of the witness for about twenty minutes before the judge Suzanne Ouellet adjourn the statement. But already, the lawyer has given the tone to the trade by questioning Ms. Laroche on the sources of certain information contained in its reports.
For example, she wonders where she knew that the tourist flights were on the rise since 2008? How many people has she encountered at the lake? Who had spoken to him of the effects of the flights of seaplanes tourism on the health of the residents of the local community? On what basis does it say that the “situation continues”?
Ms. Laroche has remained vague on some issues, and asking them to refer to their personal notes. I Brixi will continue to build on that momentum on Wednesday morning.