Cornwall Council wants to take another bite at the debate on whether the city should restore adding fluoride to its drinking water.
Council agreed with Coun. Andre Rivette to invite Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical of officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis to its March 29 meeting.
Rivette said the city has already waited too long to have another debate on fluoridation.
The city stopped fluoridation midway through 2013 when equipment used for dispensing the hydrofluorosilicic acid stopped working. Workers then cited health and safety concerns, which led to the discontinuation of the practice.
This prompted Coun. Denis Carr to question the rationale for stopping fluoridation.
“We stopped fluoridation not because of (possible ill) effects, but the effects it had on the plant (workers),” Carr said.
Public/infrastructure GM John St. Marseilles confirmed Carr’s statement, saying it was the fault of the equipment. Since then, the city has allocated $350,000 in a reserve to have the equipment replaced.
The fact the city stopped the process after an administrative decision concerned Rivette.
“If there is a health and safety issue it should be brought to council,” he said.
The fluoride debate has been held previously by the last term of council, so it’s time Rivette said for the information to be shared with new councillors.
Coun. David Murphy later got a new motion passed to have an anti-fluoride expert make a presentation, two weeks after Dr. Roumeliotis. Rivette was initially critical, noting a presenter should not be a business-oriented person who just wants council to save money by not purchasing the chemical.
Murphy clarified he wanted a scientifically-based presentation to represent the views of the business community.
Coun. Elaine MacDonald was concerned an anti-fluoride crusader would not offer similar scientific proof as the medical officer of health.
MacDonald compared the situation to the anti-vaccination lobbyists who have convinced a segment of the population to stop vaccinating their children.