Fluoride Action Network

Burns Lake Voters End 40+ Years of Fluoridation

Source: Lakes District News | June 25th, 2003

Burns Lake voters overwhelmingly said no to fluoride in the water supply in a referendum on June 21, 2003.

138 electors indicated they were opposed to fluoridation of the water supply as outlined in municipal bylaw 822.

Only 39 voters indicated they were in favor of the proposal.

A total of 181 ballots were cast and of those, four were spoiled.

The decision not to fluoridate the water supply came after months of detailed and often fiery public debate between those in support of fluoridation and those opposed to the practice.

The voting results came as good news to Bill Storness-Bliss, a local shop owner who has led the campaign to rid the town water supply of hydrofluorosilicic acid, the substance used in the past by the municipality to add fluoride to the water supply.

“I feel really good about it,” said Storness-Bliss. “Both sides presented strong arguments and then the people chose.”

He added that he felt democracy is about making an informed choice and felt the people of Burns Lake were well informed.

The Northern Interior Health Unit campaigned heavily in an effort to convince residents to support fluoridation, saying the procedure has, for 50 years, proven a safe and effective means of preventing tooth decay.

Officials from the Northern Interior Health Unit could not be reached for comment.

“(We) obviously have a clear decision,” said Bernice Magee, mayor of Burns Lake. She added that she was disappointed that more people didn’t come out to vote.