Fort St. John residents will decide if fluoride will be removed from their drinking water through a referendum during the next civic election in November 2011.
Fluoride has been the hot topic for city councillors since the summer, when a resident presented a petition to remove it from the municipality’s water.
A motion to reconsider July’s motion, where council voted on removing the fluoride, was put forward by Coun. Dan Davies and passed in a 3-2 vote.
Davies said council will need to gather information from various sources including the Northern Health Authority, the Canadian and American dental associations and other professional groups that strongly recommend keeping fluoride in municipal water.
Like many residents, councillors have strong opinions on the matter, with councillors Trevor Bolin and Larry Evans sitting on the opposite side of the fence.
”I’ve come to the conclusion that if it’s such a great thing, why is it that less than 7% of British Columbians have it in their water?” Evans said.
”I believe five other provinces have banned it completely,” he claimed.
“It’s about a 50-50 split in the United States. Europe and Asia have banned it completely from their waters and I just have to speak against it.”
Instead of accepting Davies’ motion to keep fluoride in the water at the current levels, Coun. Bruce Christiansen suggested local residents have some say in the matter and recommended the referendum.
If residents choose to remove the fluoride from the municipal water supply in 2011, the city would save about $15,000 in the cost of fluoride.