Fluoride Action Network

Candidates for the Calgary General Election: Position on fluoridation

Source: Calgary Herald | October 16th, 2021
Location: Canada, Alberta

The Calgary Herald asked each of the candidates several questions, including their position on fluoridation, which we have listed below. We will continue to add candidates to this list as their questionnaires are published.


Date Published

Candidate in 2021


Fluoridation position

Oct 7

Ian Chiang




“I oppose the introduction of fluoride.”

Oct 11 Jan Damery Mayor


“Pro-fluoride. Particularly important for those who don’t have access to dental care.”

Oct 8 Jeff Davison  Mayor


“I have three young children. I know the benefit fluoride provides to them. I will be voting to return fluoride to our water supply.”

Oct 11 Jeromy Farkas Mayor


“Water fluoridation is a ballot question on October 18th and the next Mayor and Council must abide by the will of the voters.”

Oct 8 Brad Field  Mayor


“City Council in February took that decision out of its own hands and gave the decision to the voters. Having decided to ask citizens to make the decision, we must listen to what they tell us. It would be pointless to hold a plebiscite and ignore the answer, so I will advocate for what the voters decide.”

Oct 7 Emile Gabriel Mayor


“I would not preside over a divided city or take sides.

I will be the “information mayor”, providing all necessary data and information, in order for the voters to make intelligent and informed decisions.

I am not a politician, and I am not backed by a specific donor or any special interest group. Therefore, I will work, and fight for all Calgarians – equally.”


Oct 8 Jyoti Gondek  Mayor



Oct 7 Zac Hartley Mayor


97 per cent of water in this city is not used for drinking. Young children are the population that see the most benefit from fluoride.
“We should focus our fluoride efforts in schools and recreation facilities where the cost will be lower and the benefits will be higher.”

Oct 6 Paul Hallelujah Mayor


“Needs more study.”

Oct 7 Larry Heather Mayor


“Absolutely not. Harmful for dental health.”

Oct 6 Dean Hopkins Mayor


I have a video on YouTube explaining my stance on this topic… [Paper didn’t give link]

Oct 18 Kevin J. Johnston Mayor


“Never on my watch. Fluoride is a neurotoxin that should never have been in any water supply anywhere in Canada.”

Oct 9 Randall Earl Kaiser Mayor


Oct 12 Cory Lanterman Mayor
Oct 7 Zaheed Ali Khan Mayor


It will be purely a vote and a democratic process.”

Oct 10 Zane Novak Mayor


“I am not in favour of fluoride. Rather I will work with the province to bring proper dental care to our youth 13 years of age and younger.”

Oct 7

Teddy Ogbonna





Oct 7

Mizanur Rahman




“Yes, it has more pros.”


Oct 7 Geoff Rainey
“I do not have a firm position on fluoride in general. However, I believe fluoride should be made available at dentist offices to people who would like it, but not put into the water. If fluoride is put into our drinking water, I believe the city should find a way to provide water without fluoride to citizens.”
Oct 11 Adam Roberts Mayor

“Make fluoride available for those who want it.”

Oct 7 Virginia Stone Mayor

“I personally do not want it in my water,

but if the majority of citizens vote for it, then we must respect their decision.”


Oct 11 Will Vizor Mayor


“If the majority of City Council members voted in favour to return fluoride, and If doctors approve it.”

Oct 9 Shaoli Wang Mayor


“No, it’s not only harmful to some people, but is also against some people’s value and belief, such that it is in violation of Charter Section 15.”

Oct 12 Grace Yan Mayor “As Mayor, I am committed to the safety of Calgarians.

I have to be mindful of the public money and that it is used wisely as we must live within our means.”

Oct 10 Tom Antonick Ward 1


“I feel that because we are doing a plebiscite and everyone gets a vote, I will 100 per cent support Ward 1’s decision.”

Oct 8 Chris Blatch Ward 1


“Obviously, I am not a medical or dental professional, nor a biologist or chemist, but I will say that from the evidence as it has been presented to me, I am personally in favour of fluoride. That being said, this has been made into a plebiscite issue and I think it is vital that whatever Calgarians decide, that we honour the democratic process and Calgarian’s votes, by upholding the decision that comes out of the vote on fluoride.

“I think it would be very detrimental for any elected body to ignore the outcome of a public vote. (I will say that I think we would have been better served by putting a “citizens committee” together to examine the issue and hear from academic and medical professionals, to determine the best path forward.)”

Oct 6 Jacob McGregor Ward 1


“I support the introduction of fluoride.”

Oct 12 Shauna Sears Ward 1


“I say “No” to fluoride. Science says it’s a toxin and shouldn’t be ingested.”

Oct 9 Sonya Sharp Ward 1


“As a Councillor I will respect the outcome/results of the plebiscite vote and I will vote in alignment with what the majority of Ward 1 residents indicate they want.”

Oct 7 Larry Tweedale Ward 1


“I will support what Calgarians vote for.”

Oct 8 Steve Webb Ward 1


“When it comes to fluoride in the water – I have my personal opinion, but it’s what the residents of Ward 1 want that I will stand behind. If Ward 1 residents want fluoride, then I will support and champion their decision. If they don’t, then I will stand behind them on that issue. My personal bias will not affect how I vote on any issue in council. I will be working for the residents of Ward 1 after all, so it’s the residents” opinion that matters.”

Oct 7 Francis Aranha Ward 2 “I represent my people, so I would like to hear from the experts and the residents of my ward. Some natural ways to find fluoride are in toothpaste, spinach, grapes, raisins, wine, black tea, potatoes etc.

We can put it on the back burner in the short term,

as there are more urgent priorities and all this will cost over $30 million.”

Oct 10 Kim Tyers Ward 2


“I have encouraged Calgarians to educate themselves on this important issue. I encourage Calgarians to make sure they get out and vote. I will respect the decision that is communicated by the result of the plebiscite.”

Oct 6 Theo van Besouw Ward 2


“It does not make sense to add fluoride to the entire water supply at a cost of $20 million over 10 years while less than one per cent is destined for consumption. Fluoride additive is readily available for anyone who wants it.”

Oct 8 Jennifer Wyness Ward 2


“I am pro-fluoride. My vote, however, will be based on the results of the plebiscite. I will review how Ward 2 voted (aggregate all the Ward 2 poll results), and vote in alignment with the residents of Ward 2. Voting against the results of a plebiscite is how we ended up removing fluoride in the first place.”

Oct 6

Hamayun Akbar


Ward 3


Yes, I am in favour of fluoride water.”

Oct 10 Jun Lin Ward 3


‘I will vote the same way as how Calgarians decide on the plebiscite.’

Oct 7 Ian McAnerin Ward 3

“I’m personally in favor of it

but will abide by the will of the voters.”

Oct 6 Jasmine Mian Ward 3


“We’re holding a plebiscite on this so that we can understand what citizens want. My commitment is to follow the directive that citizens give me. I won’t override a Yes or No vote with my personal opinion.”

Oct 10 Nate Pike Ward 3

“As an individual, I support returning fluoride,

Oct 7 Brent Trenholm Ward 3


“I will be voting no to fluoride in the water.”

Oct 6 Sean Chu Ward 4


“I have always been a supporter of plebiscites to decide large questions, like the Olympics, which I long called for and was successful in having occur. Like in 2018, I will support the decision of Calgarians either way. It is their time to have their say instead of council.”

Oct 11 DJ Kelly Ward 4


“The decision was made by the previous City Council to put the issue to a plebiscite during this election. I commit to enacting the will of the electorate regardless of my stance on the issue.”

Oct 6 Anand Chetty Ward 5


Oct 13 Raj Dhaliwal Ward 5


“The overwhelming evidence supports that flouride is safe and helps protect our most vulnerable from tooth decay and cavities. I would like to advocate to the other orders of government to invest in dental care for Canadians, but as council we have a duty to use science to protect and serve our citizens. I am supportive of flouride.”

Oct 10 Tahir Merali Ward 5


I am not a dentist but when my health-care professional friends are telling me that they see more cavities in children than in the past, as a father, I take notice. If dentists are in favour of fluoridation, something that may affect their own self-interest then I have to be in favour of fluoridation as well.

I also want to take the opportunity to recognize the efforts of dentists, health-care professionals and all the emergency personnel responding on the front-lines during this COVID-19 pandemic that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep themselves and their clients safe and cared for.

Oct 12 Stan Sandhu Ward 5

[He didn’t respond to the question]

Oct 10 Lana Bentley Ward 6


“My position is based on the recommendations from organizations like the World Health Organization and Health Canada. I believe that there are dental benefits to fluoridation. As such I am in favor of fluoride in our water supply.”

Oct 9 Duane Hall Ward 6

“The City of Calgary cannot afford any additional expenditures.

If citizens are truly concerned the money could be spent more effectively if it was spent directly on those less fortunate.”

Oct 7 Sanjeev Kad Ward 6 “Whether fluoride should be reintroduced into the city’s water supply is a referendum question on this ballot. I will respect the will of the majority of Calgarians.

I note that this question has been deliberated and revisited by councils and brought before the voters numerous times. Why?”

Oct 6 Richard Pootmans Ward 6


Yes to returning fluoride to our water. It’s time to stop the health carnage among our vulnerable populations generated from poor dental hygiene occurring due to lack of fluoride.”

Oct 11 Matt Lalonde Ward 7


“I have pledged to respect and vote accordingly with the plebiscite, and I will respect the decision Calgarians make at the ballot box. My own personal opinions have influenced my personal decision, but as Councillor I will be voting according to the choice made by all Calgarians.”

Oct 10 Heather McRae Ward 7 “Based on feedback on the doors,

I anticipate a “yes” vote on this

item and will support that decision on council.”

Oct 6 Ben Shepherd Ward 7


“Fluoride is an industrial waste product and doesn’t belong in our water.”

Oct 7 Derek WIlliams Ward 7


“I am personally a pro-fluoride citizen. After the plebiscite, Yes or No, I will follow the majority mandate of my constituents in Ward 7.”

Oct 11 Monique Auffrey Ward 8


“I support returning fluoride to the city’s water at the appropriate levels (there is already some fluoride in the water). Fluoride in the water has been proven to be safe, myths negating this have been debunked and the cost to the city is far outweighed by the benefits to children and citizens- It provides a good social return on investment.”

Oct 10 Gary Bobrovitz Ward 8


“I support fluoridation. The scientific information confirms the dental health benefits of this policy, particularly to children and seniors. I was an active participant in the campaign to successfully introduce fluoride in 1990 and I continue that commitment.”

Oct 13 Yogi Henderson Ward 8


“Project controls, more specifically cost control management, is my area of expertise. And the topic of fluoride is an area that I am looking into. Does it belong in Calgary’s water system? I’ll need to better educate myself on this before Oct. 18.”

Oct 11 Philip Mitchell Ward 8


“NO- Do not add chemicals in the name of fluoride to the water, find a solution that works for all Calgarians. No one should be forced to ingest something they do not want to.”

Oct 10 Cornelia Wiebe Ward 8


“If elected to city council for Ward 8, I will respect the will of the people and would uphold the results of the plebiscite.”

Oct 8 Gian-Carlo Carra Ward 9 “My position is that:

1. water fluoridation is an extremely insufficient stand-in for universal dental care;

2. it is a provincial public health responsibility that has been downloaded onto the city;
3. there are considerably more impactful determinants of public health outcomes that are fully the city’s responsibility – like reducing car dependence and increasing active mobility mode share; but,
4. I will support the outcome of the plebiscite.”

Oct 11 Kimberly Feser Ward 9


“I am in favour of this initiative. I will however only vote in the direction that the Ward 9 residents vote for during the election. I will listen to the will of the people.”

Oct 10 Omar M’keyo Ward 9


“I prefer answering this question once I am done researching the issue.”

Oct 11 Tony Dinh Ward 10


“The people will decide. The choice will be on the ballot for people to vote for or against on October 18th.”

Oct 13 Abed Harb Ward 10

“I support science-backed decisions.

If the plebiscite vote favours fluoridation and I am elected a member of city council, I will vote in favour of fluoridation reinstatement.”

Oct 7 Leslyn Joseph Ward 10


The decades-long debate around fluoridation in our water has been expensive and polarizing. Calgarians have been participants in a real-time study. Both anecdotal reports from dentists, as well as the scientific evidence, are quite clear about its benefits for improved dental health – especially for children in low-income households, and specifically in the absence of the inclusion of dental health care treatment as part of our overall provincial health care system.”

Oct 11 Mushtaq Kayani Ward 10



Oct 7 Esther Sutherland Ward 10


“Fluoride in drinking water is necessary to keep healthy teeth and decrease cavities. PRESENTLY THE DRINKING WATER HAS TOO MUCH SEDIMENTATION AND NEEDS PROCESS OF PURIFICATION, TO PROTECT PEOPLES’ HEALTH. I am working on behalf of people’s well being for everybody, with no exceptions, applying human rights for every person in Calgary. I am asking to the public, neighbours and friends, to consider to vote for Esther Sutherland for city councillor on election day, on October 18, or in advance vote from October 4 to 10, 2021.”

Oct 11 Vance Bertram Ward 11


“I’m against chemical fluoridation being added back into Calgary’s water. I understand fluoride occurs naturally in water but it’s bonded to other elements which make it inert and digestible. It’s basically the same debate between natural occurring sugar in fruits versus the processed sugars that have driven up obesity and diabetes rates across Canada.

With the obesity rates in children tripling in the last 30yrs, I’m guessing the cavities are not being caused by children eating to many fruits and vegetables but rather eating more unhealthy foods than ever before.

Also, there is both fluoridated toothpaste (most common) and non-fluoridated toothpaste options available at grocery stores for people to make their own choices.”

Oct 7 Kourtney Branagan Ward 11


“I am supportive of returning flouride to the water supply but would like to see us also innovate on greywater initiatives.”


Oct 8 Devin DeFraine Ward 11


“As a firm believer in grassroots democracy, I will be voting in favour of the decision made by electors in this plebiscite.”

Oct 7 Lauren Herschel Ward 11

“I do think fluoride is important. I believe we need a way of getting fluoride to those who need it most, in the most effective way.

I would work with administration to understand if this is the best solution to the issue and move forward accordingly. I think it’s also important to listen to what Ward 11 residents want too.”

Oct 11 Mike Jamieson Ward 11

“The consensus I’ve received from knocking thousands of doors, is that residents of ward 11 do not want to spend money on reintroducing fluoride at this time.”

Oct 8 Rob Ward Ward 11


“The fluoride issue will be on the ballot and the residents will vote on it. Many people don’t know that the vote is NON-BINDING. This means that despite what the majority of residents vote, a councillor could vote the opposite on the official motion.

The primary job responsibility as a councillor is to listen to residents. For that reason, I will be voting the same way the residents do when it comes to council to pass. It’s not often opinions on an issue have this much certainty of opinion, so to vote in opposition of the residents you represent would be foolish in my opinion and would indicate a councillor who doesn’t listen to their constituents. I will always listen to the residents who elected me.

Oct 11 Dirk Fontaine Ward 12


“I am supportive of returning fluoride to the city’s water supply.”

Oct 6 Teresa Hargreaves Ward 12 Before I make a final decision,

I would like to look at the budget and project to see what is needed

, prior to getting the system up and running.”

Oct 7 Mike LaValley Ward 12


“I will abide by the wishes of Calgarians that will be communicated through the results of the ballot question. If you are asking my opinion on the matter, I spoke with doctors and dentists and they all agreed that it was a good idea. Additionally, a study performed by AHS concluded that every $1 spent on water fluoridation can save up to $93 per person in dental treatment costs so it makes fiscal sense as well. When asked my opinion I would be in favor of fluoridation and as it has positive health impacts and is recommended by AHS I would like to ask the province for assistance in paying for it.”

Oct 7 Steven Phan Ward 12


“It’s beneficial to our health and to prevent tooth decay. I am in favour.”

Oct 11 Evan Spencer Ward 12


“After spending some time looking at the issue from both sides, I am confident in putting my support behind fluoride in Calgary’s water.

When I weigh the negatives with the positives I ultimately want to be a public servant who looks for cost-effective ways to do the most for those who have the least and fluoride just makes sense. There is a large and ever-increasing body of evidence to show the benefits to dental health when fluoride — already naturally occurring — is at the ideal level in our water supply.

I will remain open to new science and studies done on the subject, but I am now in agreement that the annual $1.50 investment per person will actually be saving us far more down the road and promoting health for generations of Calgarians!”

Oct 6 Michael Streilein Ward 12


“My position is that we need to follow the science and do what’s best for the people of Calgary. All studies I have read show that adding fluoride to the water will help with dental health, in addition, the majority of people I have spoken to or polled (polls were done on community groups in Calgary) are in favour of it.”

Oct 11 Dan McLean Ward 13


“On this issue, the city got it right in putting the decision to a vote from Calgarians. I will follow the will of the people on this issue.”

Oct 10 Jay Unsworth Ward 13


“I am totally in favour. This will benefit kids, seniors, and those who cannot afford dental care. In addition, oral hygiene is a critical component of cardiovascular health.”

Oct 7 Stephen Dabbagh Ward 14


“No. Risk outweighs benefits.”


Oct 8 Anton Ovtchinnikov Ward 14 “I am on the fence on this one. I have read a great deal of material on this already and listened to many people at the doors. A few times I was asked to make sure that if elected, new council does not go against the people’s vote on this one.

We have beaten this dead horse enough and we need to let it rest for a while. One thing I would like to see, is a more targeted approach, vs blanket supply;

more education in schools on dental health and promoting brushing and proper diet, regular visits to the dentist.”