The District Municipality of Muskoka council’s decision on Monday night to discontinue the fluoridation of municipal water supplies took many by surprise.
No matter where you stand on the fluoride debate, the issue is divisive.
The decision to stop putting fluoride in Muskoka’s water was passed by just one vote.
What’s even more surprising is that the same issue that some councillors tried to dismiss altogether when approached by a group opposing fluoridation — one considered by some to belong to a fringe minority — got rammed through, leaving many bewildered.
The good news is that democracy is very much alive in Muskoka. A grassroots group determined to change something they were not satisfied with managed to tip the scales against the status quo. At the end of the day, it means all of those people who fight complacency and are passionate enough to dedicate their time and effort to make a difference, have a fighting chance of being heard — that’s a healthy sign that our representatives are listening and surprises can still happen.
In terms of the actual fluoride debate, there is concern that we are being over-fluoridated through our toothpaste, soft drinks, some foods as well as municipal drinking water. So siding on the side of caution makes sense.
Huntsville mayor Claude Doughty suggested that the funds spent on fluoride at the district be used to help families financially acquire dental care.
That makes a lot of sense. It is certainly better than medicating a population, or part of it, that doesn’t want it.
Kudos to the councillors who saw fit to think outside the box and find a better solution.