Windsor city councillor Hilary Payne admits he’s loathe to hand over municipal powers to the province, but says the one exception might be provincial legislation to make fluoride mandatory in all Ontario drinking water.
“Good heavens they don’t have a huge amount of powers already,” he says. “The municipalities will always be subject to these pressure groups coming in and maybe some councils will do what Windsor did and give into it.”
Payne was one of three city councillors who voted against a motion to remove fluoride from the drinking water supply in Windsor, Tecumseh and LaSalle.
Now, Mississauga-Streetsville MPP Bob Delaney introduced a motion in the Ontario Legislature calling on the Liberal government to make fluoridation mandatory across Ontario. The motion has a broad range of support from residents, dentists and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, which argued against removing fluoride from local drinking water two years ago.
As for whether Windsor city council would be willing to revisit the issue, Payne isn’t sure. It would take a two-thirds vote on council to pass a motion to reconsider, and then council would have to vote whether to re-introduce fluoride. Payne says it could be a difficult debate, possibly resulting in the status quo.