Regina City Council approves fluoridated water, but won’t be added until 2025. A motion to put the issue to a referendum was voted down.
Regina City Council voted 10-to-1 to fluoridate its water.
The fluoridation can’t take place until upgrades to the Buffalo Water Treatment plant are completed, which is scheduled to finish in 2025.
Ward 10 Coun. Landon Mohl was the sole opponent to the motion.
“This is everybody’s drinking water that 230,000 people use,” Mohl told the Western Standard.
“There’s a wide range of concerns, so many I don’t even have time to list them all. One I just want to mention is specifically the person who started the petition has fluorosis herself.”
Ashley Symons’ petition against adding fluoride received 460 signatures.
“One main motivation for fluoridation of water is to improve the dental health of the low-income families in our city, however studies show that vulnerable children and families are at higher risk of the toxic effects of too much fluoride,” the petition’s preamble states.
“For those who do want fluoride, they can get it in toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwashes.”
The petition listed numerous studies and authorities that downplayed fluoride’s supposed helpful effects and others that suggested health problems could ensue as fluoride collected in bones and the pineal gland over time, especially for infants.
According to the American Dental Association, “Dental fluorosis is the appearance of faint white lines or streaks on the teeth that only occurs when younger children consume too much fluoride, from any source, over long periods when teeth are developing under the gums.”
Gerry Uswak, registrar of the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan, spoke in favour of fluoridation, while citizens opposed made contrary presentations. Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins, who introduced the motion, asked fellow councillors, “What story are you going to believe?”
After the motion passed, Mohl moved to put the issue to a referendum, but only received support from Ward 5 Coun. John Findura. The referendum would have cost $550,000 to hold, but the installation of fluoride equipment will cost $2 million, with $210,000 spent each year on fluoride itself.
Regina citizens refused fluoridation in four previous plebiscites in 1954, 1958, 1965 and 1985. In that final vote, 55% were opposed — less than the 60% opposition against allowing light beer at ‘Rider games and selling alcohol at Exhibition Park. In that election 1970’s mayor Henry Baker attempted a comeback and told TV reporters he was opposed to fluoridation because he poisoned rats with it while growing up.
“It’s come up before through a plebiscite and referendum. And I think with this specific issue that people deserve the right to choose,” Mohl said in the interview.
“The 100-plus e-mails we have all received at our city e-mail addresses showed 85% of residents are against adding fluoride to the water.”
Council also unanimously voted to partner with the federal government on its Rapid Housing Initiative to build places for people who face the biggest barriers to housing. The funding would create at least 29 new affordable housing units in Regina over the next 20 years.
The city must find a non-profit to operate the homes and plans to allocate an extra $1 million to cover non-eligible capital costs, such as furnishings. The city must submit a proposal by August 31 and deliver the project within one year.
The mayor and two councilors are in a drag show August 28 to fund raise for Lulu Lodge, a five-bedroom transitional home for homeless LGBTQ people aged 16-21 run by the John Howard Society, recently purchased with “generous support” from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation. It is unclear whether Lulu Lodge and the John Howard Society could be beneficiaries of the new housing initiative.
Council also passed a bylaw August 11 to ban conversion therapy, which involves discouraging homosexual sexual activity or convincing a transgender to identify with their natal sex.|
*Original article online at https://westernstandardonline.com/2021/08/harding-regina-city-council-approves-fluoridated-water/