Fluoride Action Network

Thunder Bay: Fluoridation Issue a Likely Political Issue in 2010

Source: NetNewsledger.com | October 21st, 2009 | By James Murray
Location: Canada, Ontario

THUNDER BAY – Westfort Ward Councillor Joe Virdiramo must be feeling pretty politically secure. A year out from the next civic election, Virdiramo is willing to jump out ahead of City Council and many citizens in our community over the issue of water fluoridation.

The issue of water fluoridation in Thunder Bay has been the subject of an expensive campaign put forward by the TBDHU [Thunder Bay District Health Unit], that the cost has yet to be disclosed to the public.

Virdiramo, as chair of the TBDHU, even though City Council has listened to the community, appears to be continuing a campaign to put fluoride in our water. There is more information online at www.thunderbayfluoride.ca . There is an added $55,000 to be spent to promote the idea.

While some media stories state that the Westfort Councillor is going to “aggressively” pursue fluoridation, Virdiramo says, “I noticed an error in the reporting I did not say aggressively I said less aggressively”. Virdiramo says, “We are going to work on education on good dental health.”

For opponents of water fluoridation, Virdiramo’s comments have already started an email effort to inform people. One of those components is a video shared on a Facebook group opposed to water fluoridation. (www.facebook.com)

If Virdiramo’s stand leads to voter frustration, it is possible that come next year, the Councillor may face a serious challenge at the polls.

As Thunder Bay continues to evolve, Virdiramo is taking a very firm stand on an issue that many people have stood very opposed too for a long time.

During the Councillor’s run at the Liberal nomination in Thunder Bay Superior North, Virdiramo was active online, including a Facebook profile. Since losing that nomination, and thanking his supporters, the Councillor has not posted online on Facebook.

That is likely an oversight, but one that likely has already been noted by savvy Internet users. On Facebook, Virdiramo’s goal is listed as “My intention is to become the elected candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada and represent the Thunder Bay Superior North Riding”.

Unless Yves Fricot decides to step aside, that goal isn’t likely right now.

In the last civic election, there were a number of long-serving candidates who lost. Part of the reason is that Thunder Bay is a community in transition, and were not as engaged with a growingly Internet savvy population.

However, all in all, next year’s civic election is already starting to appear on the distance horizon as a very interesting campaign.