Fluoride Action Network

Owen Sound: Questions over fluoridation vote

Source: Bayshore Broadcasting | July 26th, 2014 | By Shannon Bradbury
Location: Canada, Ontario

It is now a waiting process regarding whether the plebiscite on fluoridation in Owen Sound will be addressed under the Municipal Elections Act or the Fluoridation Act.

Owen Sound residents will have the opportunity to answer a question on flouridation during the October 27th civic election.

This was decided by Council on March 17th, however the original question stated “Are you in favour of the discontinuation of fluoride in the municipal drinking water?”, which some residents felt was a double negative question.

Medical Officer of Health Doctor Hazel Lynn says the City’s choice was to do a plebiscite, and they can do this under either act.

Doctor Lynn points out it is recommended if you have more than one municipality involved, that you use the Municipal Act, and she feels it is a much clearer question and it is more democratic.

The Municipal Elections Act requires at least 50 per cent of eligible voters to vote.

Doctor Hazel Lynn says then 50 per cent of those would have to either vote for or against the question, otherwise the results would remain “mute”.

Under the Municipal Act — the question would be: Should the municipality fluoridate the municipal water; either yes or no.

While the Fluoridation Act does not require a minimum of 50 per cent of the electors to cast a ballot for the results to be binding.

However, Doctor Lynn says there are so many people that don’t go out and vote.

Fluoridated public drinking water is considered a preventative measure and defends against both tooth and dental decay, particularly in toddlers and younger children.

The City has treated its drinking water since 1965.

Doctor Lynn tells Bayshore Broadcasting News she wants a clear question, and feels people that live in Owen Sound and drink this water should vote.

The next steps are to send the letter to the city and ask to address the question under the Municipal Act.