The tinderbox that is City Hall these days almost got hotter Thursday afternoon, as the budget chief introduced a surprise motion to stop fluoridating tap water.

Mike Del Grande’s self-described “grenade” failed to explode, however, as the motion was rejected by the budget committee. The city spends about $2-million a year to add fluoride to water.

“Personally, my viewpoint is the days of fluoride should come to an end. It’s a different society, we’ve got good dentists, we’ve got fluoride in toothpaste,” said Mr. Del Grande after the vote.

“The research is conflicting and many other jurisdictions have done it, and … we don’t have people with no teeth or rotting teeth. Life goes on.”

Had it passed this hurdle, Mr. Del Grande would have had a fight on his hands. Fluoridation debates in other municipalities have been acrimonious.

“There is a body of scientific evidence on fluoride that would fill City Hall,” said Councillor Gord Perks. “It provides tremendous improvement to oral health and it is really, really inexpensive.” Mr. Del Grande said he has no plans to bring the issue up again.