Although removing fluoride from Calgary’s water would save money, some aldermen argue cost shouldn’t factor into the debate.

Ald. Druh Farrell will bring forward a notice of motion today asking city council to vote in favour of removing fluoride from the city’s water.

She said if fluoride is kept in the water, the city’s fluoridation equipment will need to be replaced.

“Water Services has identified approximately $6 million (to replace the equipment),” she said.

“This isn’t a monetary issue for me, but it did highlight the timing so that we didn’t have a throw away capital investment.”

Farrell suggests a portion of the $6 million, as well as the annual savings, could be used to provide fluoride treatment for low-income Calgarians.

“We could establish a fund that could be then turned over to a dental association or Alberta Health Services to provide this service. It would be providing a more targeted approach.”

Ald. Gord Lowe said factoring money into the debate is the wrong approach.

“It is a health issue and to use that as the excuse to take it out, in my view, that’s a sorry excuse.”

Need to know

  • The final decision to remove fluoride from Calgary’s water will fall on Alberta Environment.
  • Fluoride was first introduced to Calgary’s water system in 1989.
  • There have been six plebiscites issued on fluoridation in the past.