The question of flouride [sic] in the local water supply will get a full hearing on Nov. 12.
The Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS), which has been wrestling with the issue for a year now, has set aside two hours to hear all the pros and cons.
Dr. John Roman, head of the local dental association, and Carole Clinch, an anti-fluoridation proponent, are expected to make presentations.
“I really want to put this issue to bed,” said board chairperson Todd Case. “It’s gone on for far too long.”
The water board received “three or four” conflicting legal opinions on whether it has the authority to remove fluoride with a simple vote, or whether the decision must come from individual municipal councils, Case said.
“I want the board to come to a consensus,” he said. “But we have to respect that the entire debate isn’t going to happen here.”
The fluoride issue heated up last year after Health Canada issued an advisory for municipalities to reduce the standard for fluoride levels in drinking water.
The federal agency is studying the cavity-fighting additive with an eye to providing a national recommendation on use.
The board is still awaiting that report.
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said he doesn’t need to hear from any more experts, and that a decision simply needs to be made.
“I’m armed with all the information I’ll ever need in a lifetime,” Napper said of the year-long debate. “The better approach would be to ask how we can get it on the ballot and proceed.”
Lambton Shores and Warwick have already passed motions asking LAWSS to remove fluoride from the system.
Some board members believe a referendum question will have to be drafted for next year’s municipal vote in November.
LAWSS is comprised of six municipal members: Sarnia, Point Edward, Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming, Warwick and St. Clair Township.