Fluoride now a big issue for City council

Controversy over fluoridation of Red Deer’s water supply was apparent at Monday’s City Council meeting.

It started when Councillor Buck Buchanan introduced a motion to hold a plebiscite on fluoridation of City drinking water at the same time as the next civic election in 2013. Holding a separate plebiscite before then would cost between $100,000 and $150,000, while holding it in conjunction with the election would only cost an estimated $5,000.

However, it quickly became evident some councillors hold strong views on the subject.

Councillor Paul Harris said the City should stop fluoridation immediately and hold a plebiscite later to see if people want it back. He said he’s received numerous calls and e-mails on the subject, which led him to research the issue and he feels putting fluoride in the water supply should end.

“The whole thinking around fluoride has changed. It needs to go. I’m proposing we take it out immediately, temporarily, and err on the side of caution. There are enough things that I’ve read that this is not a good thing for the public. There’s no benefit for the public here and there’s a lot of health detriments including cancer (concerns), hyperactivity, there’s a whole list of things that are a problem. We need to do more research on this. It’s a scary thing for me.”

Harris added that while there are conflicting opinions there’s a worldwide movement to removed fluoride from public water supplies and those who want fluoride can get it in other ways, through toothpaste, drops or bottled water, for example. Red Deer started fluoridating its water in 1957 after a plebiscite and it costs approximately $60,000 annually to do it.

Councillor Dianne Wyntjes termed it “an emotional issue” and said she would support a plebiscite, and raised the question of how it would affect neighbouring communities who now get their treated water from Red Deer. Councillor Tara Veer said, “We need to hear from both sides of the question, and we haven’t heard from the general public about this.”

Councillor Chris Stephan said he too has done a lot of research and says there is a lot of conflicting evidence about the benefits or dangers of fluoride, but “We want to avoid what Calgary did.”

Calgary City council recently voted to stop fluoridating its water in a close, controversial vote.

After lengthy discussion council decided to have administration prepare a report for the May 16 council meeting that would gather information on the issue, including how to engage the public, and any potential effect on the other communities that use City water.


Just Posted

RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

Red Deer RCMP give tips so holidays aren’t marred by theft or damage

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Last Christmas for Ten Thousand Villages in Red Deer

The fair trade organization will be closing its doors in the New Year

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read