The contents of the District of Muskoka’s drinking water may be back under the microscope.
Huntsville Coun. Fran Coleman addressed district council during a meeting earlier this month to highlight a letter received from a community member regarding the fluoridation of the region’s drinking water.
The community member, Ruth Bednar, is part of a coalition of Muskokans who want fluoride removed from the water for health, environmental and ethical reasons.
Coleman said the letter asks councillors to look at a moratorium on adding fluoride to drinking water pending toxicology testing.
She asked if councillors cared enough to bring the issue back to the council table.
A series of presentations and petitions from the community as well as comments from health-care professionals both for and against fluoridation have been brought to council in the past. Council had decided to continue fluoridation at that time.
“This group of citizens opposing fluoride is getting quite strong in the district,” commented Coleman. “Do we take the word of the health unit that everything is fine? I have to listen to my gestalt feelings and they are telling me we can’t ignore further exploration.”
District Chair John Klinck commented that the suggestion that council did not care about the issue was crossing a line and recommended Coleman retract her comment.
Coleman retracted her question regarding whether council cared about the issue and assured council she did not mean it to be flippant. The question seemed geared toward gauging council’s interest in revisiting fluoridation concerns.
Klinck went on to say the issue could be brought back to the council table if there was enough interest.
“There are a number of councillors who have posed questions outside of this forum and there has been ongoing dialogue with those we consider our experts, including the medical officer of health and those beyond. We have not heard anything to the contrary (of what we heard before),” said Klinck. “Notwithstanding that, we have within our procedural bylaw a provision that allows for any item of business after six months once it’s been considered to come back on the table.”
Klinck added that if any member of council wanted to put fluoridation back on the district agenda, he would do everything in his power to “facilitate that discussion.”