Ward 8 councillor Jim Stone served notice last night he intends to ask for support to stop the fluoridation of drinking water in Tottenham, at the Sept. 23 committee of council meeting.

It’s not a new battle for Mr. Stone. On March 30, 2009, he actually won a majority vote to request the Ministry of Environment amend the Certificate of Approval on the municipal water treatment system in Tottenham that would end a practice that started after a 1973 plebiscite won with about 80 per cent support.

His victory lasted only until the next month when the council decision was reversed following a full-court press of delegations from various provincial, national dental associations, and public health representatives who turned up to warn against removing fluoride.

In his brief prelude last night, Mr. Stone said “we’ve been putting industrial waste (fluoride) into Tottenham drinking water since 1973 …. but it falls within the regulations, what the government thinks is good for us.” He also expects the dental lobby to turn up again to refute his claims. Tottenham is the only urban system in Simcoe County with fluoride added.

“The last time I brought this up, eight dentists and doctors came into the council chamber to put down my report,” he said. “I’m quite willing and ready to defend the report I’m bringing forward. I’ve done a lot of studying. People think I might not have credibility, but I’ve spent over 6,000 hours over 24 years studying this type of thing. … So if there are any doctors or dentists show up, I hope they speak out, because I’m quite willing to defend myself.”

Mayor Mike MacEachern said he “looks forward to the discussion,” adding a caution about spreading undue fears about water quality in Tottenham.

“It’s safe for the residents to drink. It does meet all ministry regulations,” said the mayor. “So there’s a weight of evidence on both sides of this, so we have to be careful. We certainly look to our public health unit as well to provide us with information with regards to the safety of our residents and they were very strong advocates of the program we’re following in Tottenham. We don’t want to be giving the sense to residents that the water is unsafe.”

“This is science,” said Mr. Stone. “I’m not going to be talking through my hat here.”

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