Fluoride is officially flushed.
During Monday night’s meeting, city council voted unanimously to shut off the city’s fluoride injection system by year’s end.
It was a result that came as a surprise to no one, given during the election campaign every indication was made that if elected, candidates would abide by the will of the electorate.
“We’ve asked them to commit to it, we’ve asked them to commit to do some homework, we’ve asked them to exercise their free will on the vote so for me not to abide by the decision of the referendum would be foolish on my part and I will support the will of the vote,” said Mayor Lyn Hall.
The issue of continued fluoridation was put to referendum during the local government elections. The No side came away with a 53.7 per cent majority.
Monday night’s vote at city hall was necessary as the referendum was not binding.
The city is under unique legislation. B.C.’s Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act (No. 2), passed in 1998, grandfathers in the city’s 1954 council resolution to fluoridate the water, bypassing other legislation under W.A.C. Bennett requiring voter assent.
But for the majority of council, abiding by the referendum result seemed to be as difficult to swallow as the tap water for those who oppose fluoridation.
“I don’t like the outcome of the referendum but by authorizing it I made a promise to abide by its outcome,” said Coun. Garth Frizzell. “I don’t like how it’s come down but I will vote to enact it.”
It’s an issue that has been alive for all 12 years Coun. Brian Skakun has been in office. “I think it’s going to be put to rest whether I agree with it or other people [do],” he said.
Councillors Susan Scott and Murry Krause both said they also didn’t personally oppose fluoride, but would vote in favour.
“I know the dental community will be disappointed and I know some of the medical community will be disappointed as well,” Krause said.
Coun. Albert Koehler has been a vocal anti-fluoride advocate from Day 1 and Coun. Jillian Merrick said she also agreed with the No side.
“I think there’s no debating the science the medical community has put forward for fluoridation but for me the issue was really around consent,” Merrick said.