Mayor Dave Bronconnier says Calgarians, not aldermen, should decide whether to take the fluoride out of the city’s drinking water.
A group of five aldermen will open up the taps on the fluoride debate next week by proposing to halt the city’s practice of adding the compound to city water.
They contend that city council can make the decision on its own and doesn’t need a plebiscite as it has several times in the past.
“This debate is sort of one of those perennial ones that never goes away,” the mayor told reporters on Friday.
“But when you look at the health of the drinking water and the health of people who cannot afford dental care, oral care and others, if people wish to remove (fluoride) from the drinking water, I think that should be done again by a plebiscite, not by members of council standing up with their own personal opinions.”
The fluoride issue has been debated for decades. Plebiscites on adding it to help prevent tooth decay took place as early as 1957, but it was after the 1989 election — when 53 per cent voted in favour of using the chemical — that it was added.
Calgarians continued to show their support for fluoridation in the 1998 election when 55 per cent endorsed the move.
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