Town moves ahead with water plant upgrades
PARRY SOUND – The appeals continue to come in. Although with less fanfare, the message is still the same – take the fluoride out of town water.
Wayne Gilbert is a life-long resident and a Parry Sound Fire Department platoon chief for the last 30 years. He took his turn leading the ongoing movement during Parry Sound’s October 20 council meeting, letting them know he felt voices, including his own had been stifled.
“When my wife asked the town if I could make a presentation she was told, ‘If this is about fluoride, we’ve already heard both sides.’ It appears to me, the old saying ‘Do not confuse the issue with facts, we have our minds made up’ applies here. I believe we still live in a free country where we’re entitled to our beliefs and our freedom of speech and it is our right to be able to address council with our concerns and thoughts at will.”
Gilbert, who has been selling water treatment systems for the last three decades asked for those who choose to install a system in their homes will they receive a reimbursement from the town?
‘Missed the real point’
“What about the people that cannot afford to buy their water; the poor people of town? This is why we’re supposed to be putting fluoridate in the water is for those people,” he said. “The only reason I hear about the use for fluoride is it’s supposed to be the savior for all cavities. I think we’ve missed the real point of what really prevents cavities, proper diet, proper brushing, proper flossing, regular checkups, regular cleaning – none of this is coming out to the people that need it.
“This product you’re putting in the water is not a naturally occurring fluoride. It’s a chemical. It’s a deadly industrial chemical. If it was a safe product to use would we have to spend a quarter of a million dollars? It’s a dangerous, dangerous product to use.”
He urged the council to consider how fortunate residents are to have clean water.
“We do live in one of the absolute best places in the world. My wife and I just got back from a trip to Germany and Austria and witnessed the poor, poor situation of the refuges fenced in a compound, nowhere to go, no country to live in. We’ve also visited Morocco, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and witnessed the poverty of those people, the poor conditions they live in,” Gilbert said. “Some would love to have the situation we have, discussing our water – they don’t have any water.”
Gilbert said although the provincial government mandates the addition of chlorine to drinking water, there is no legislation for the addition of fluoride.
“I honestly, honestly believe when the resolution was done and you made the decision to continue to fluoridate you did with the absolute best of intentions and the information that you had at that time and the experts you’d been dealing with. Since then you’ve been bombarded with new information on the opposite side of fluoride – the side effects, long-term health issues, etcetera,” he said.
Gilbert said he provided council with serious claims of fluoride’s ill effects.
“There’s a lot of information there from experts. Some of this information came from the World Health Organization and other reputable experts, backers and dentists, not from the quacks from the internet as Dr. (Jim) Chirico (North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit medical officer) lead you to believe in his last presentation last (council meeting, on October 6). The information we gave you was on the dangers of fluoride,” he said.
Throughout history, Gilbert said, there has been many chemicals governments have pushed and supported that have turned out to have detrimental affects on human health.
“We look at asbestos, it was mandated and you had it in this building (the town office) and the cost to get it out and the health issues around it. Smoking, governments supported smoking in the past. We know all the issues of it now…these were all supported by mandates and legislations,” he said.
Gilbert listed several towns and cities that passed resolutions, no longer fluoridating their water.
“They can’t all be wrong. They must know something we don’t,” he said. “You invited Dr. Chirico to make another presentation to support fluoridation (on October 6). I question why you didn’t invite Dr. (Hardy) Limeback to make the other side of the presentation?
Finally, Gilbert challenged council to show its strength, courage and leadership to stop the use of fluoride in the town’s water.
“Please listen to your ratepayers. Please have their best interest at heart. Please care about our health. Again mayor and council, please stop fluoridating my water.”
On June 2, council defeated a recommendation put forward by staff for the removal of fluoride from its drinking water. The recommendation came due to the hazards associated with its distribution. Staff said if the town chose to keep its water fluoridated, it needed to consider upgrades to its storage and dispensing procedures for the health and safety of staff.
On Sept. 1, Peter Brown, town director of public works, brought a report to council, outlining the necessary $250,000 upgrades to the water treatment plant.
The improvements would ensure staff safety, while dispensing fluoride into the water system.
Council approved the costly enhancements.
Monday morning Brown said the project is moving forward. Engineers will meet at the plant in two weeks to provide a progress meeting.
One way the resolution approving the plant’s upgrades for fluoridation can be brought back for council and rescinded, is for a council member who voted in favour to provide a Notice of Motion at a council meeting. The motion would come before council at the following meeting.