By now the Town of Parry Sound council might be noticing a pattern establishing itself.
They hold a meeting and the topic of fluoridation of the town water supply comes up from at least one of their residents saying they don’t want the stuff.
They then have another brief discussion on the topic, managing to re-establish that using the chemical is dangerous and costly.
Prepare agenda and repeat.
Fluoride in the drinking water of Parry Sound is not becoming, but has already become an issue running out of the control of the councillors sitting around the table, as well as the Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico.
This is no longer about cavities either real or imagined. This is about whether residents, voters, actually have a say in whether or not $250,000 is spent on dispensing a chemical nobody seems to want.
We note that Dr. Chirico was gracious enough to speak with council about the science of fluoridation in drinking water, but that is where his concern with dental health in Parry Sound District ended.
The dental services for children under the age of 17 are still only based in the City of North Bay where the board is about to embark on building a grand new headquarters for the Health Unit.
More important is that the Medical Officer of Health didn’t come to Parry Sound to speak with the people who reside here, but just the council he wants to impose fluoridation. The most important people for Dr. Chirico to speak with are members of the public who most obviously don’t believe, nor trust what he has to say. In only addressing his interest and remarks to council, he has certainly damaged his credibility and with it that of his profession. How does one put a price on this?
Council, however, still has the opportunity at hand to make a decision in the best interest of Parry Sound. By voting not to spend the $250,000 on a safe handling facility for the dangerous chemical, the council would not be signaling in any official way that they believe the drinking water is endangered by adding fluoride at the very small, recommended levels. It is simply acknowledging they can’t afford the required upgrades to keep their staff safe.
Otherwise, it looks like the Town of Parry Sound is headed for a plebiscite on this issue which will not do anything for the advancement of civil discourse, public health, protection of taxpayers’ money, or the betterment of the community.
During the debate in June to continue fluoridation of drinking water the council members were quick to cite the qualifications and science Dr. Chirico brought to the table.
Now would be an appropriate time to acknowledge the tenacity and determination residents are bringing on an issue that has their clear and undivided attention.