New Tecumseth councillors voted last night to commence with an application to amend the certificate of approval for Tottenham to remove the fluoride treatment added to the former village’s drinking water supply.
Tottenham’s water supply has been fluoridated since 1973, and is the last municipal water system in Simcoe County, and one of the few remaining in Ontario, including Toronto, that provides fluoridated water.
It’s a victory for Ward 5 councillor Jim Stone, who referred to fluoride and its reputed charms for preventing tooth decay as “one of the greatest con jobs of the 20th Century” while lamenting that “you couldn’t put this stuff into a dump legally in Canada.” Mr. Stone has been an advocate for its removal from Tottenham water ever since he was first elected in 1996, but never found much support from his colleagues.
Last week, Mr. Stone raised the matter again with supporting background material in a staff report from Chad Horan, Superintendent of Utilities (whose promotion to Manager was confirmed last night) that provided an outline of the process required to remove the chemical.
There is no legal requirement for the removal, which means the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health are the approval agencies.
“Both the MOE and the MOH stated that there is no legislative process required by their agencies,” according to Mr. Horan’s report. “The MOE indicated that the approval of the application would be in regard to completeness and to accurately describe the Tottenham chemical treatment system and not to approve or deny fluoridating the water in Tottenham.”