Fluoride question on the Oct. 22 election ballot
PARRY SOUND – What say you, Parry Sound? Should the Town of Parry Sound fluoridate the municipal water supply?
When heading to the polls in October, voters casting their ballots for councillors and mayor will also be asked to answer this question: “Are you in favour of the fluoridation of the public water supply of this municipality?”
At its Feb. 20 council meeting, a public meeting was held to hear from residents whether or not they were in favour of the question being put on the ballot as required by the municipal act.
“It is not a public meeting to determine whether fluoride in the municipal water supply is helpful or harmful as Parry Sound council has already passed a resolution requesting the bylaw question be put on the ballot,” said clerk Jackie Boggs.
Boggs added that members of council were not permitted to comment on the issue, because it could be seen as campaigning and would be in contravention of the Municipal Elections Act. Campaigning may only begin once those seeking a seat are registered with the clerk from May 1 though to July 27.
New Parry Sound resident Roger Little said he was in favour of the question being put on the ballot, saying the most important residents impacted by the issue are the young people and future generations.
“Since they’re the ones, after all, going to be most affected by this,” he said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us, as the adults, to educate ourselves on the issue in order that we make an educated decision and not one based on personal beliefs or other sources of information.”
Following the public meeting, council passed the bylaw, agreeing that the question will be put on the ballot for the Oct. 22 municipal election.
Close to two years ago the town overturned its June 2015 resolution for improvements to the Tony Agnello Treatment Plant; the upgrades were necessary to continue fluoridating the municipal water supply. The costs then, were in the neighbourhood of $250,000; staff say they could be substantially higher today.
After a lengthy debate spearheaded by a group of concerned citizens, Parry Sounders for Progressive Water Management, fluoridation of the town’s water supply ended temporarily on March 18, 2016 under the condition that the question be posted on the 2018 municipal election ballot asking ratepayers whether they want the town to continue to fluoridate its water.
*Original article online at https://www.parrysound.com/news-story/8148233-parry-sound-voters-to-speak-on-fluoride-issue/