Fluoride Action Network

Waterloo: Fluoride vote leaves bitter aftermath

Source: The Record | November 26th, 2010 | By Jeff Outhit
Location: Canada, Ontario

Waterloo’s fluoride referendum is over but the hard feelings remain.

Fluoridation supporter Dr. Harry Hoediono has complained to police about a hateful telephone message left at his Kitchener dental office.

In the message, an anonymous caller affecting a Jamaican accent calls the dentist “a piece of garbage” and suggests he should “drink the poison and die.”

“I recognize the voice,” said Hoediono, incoming president of the Ontario Dental Association. He declined to identify the suspected caller.

The Waterloo dentist says he received other nasty voice mails and was also sent computer viruses attached to emails. Sgt. Mike Allard of Waterloo Regional Police said the voice mail is under investigation.

Meanwhile, fluoridation foe Robert Fleming is pursuing a court action against Hoediono, Dr. Ira Kirshen, and the dental association.

Fleming accuses both dentists and the association of breaking the law governing referendum spending. Dentists deny his allegation and say it’s an attempt to intimidate them.

Fleming has declined to discuss his court action. The next court date is Jan. 10.

Bitter feelings were on display Nov. 24 as Yes and No sides addressed regional council, before council voted 10-3 to stop fluoridating Waterloo tap water.

Dentists accused fluoridation critics of seeking to silence them ahead of the Oct. 25 referendum by lodging frivolous complaints with their governing body, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

That’s after dentists drew fire by refusing to participate in two of three public forums requested by city council, a tactic critics saw as an attempt to stifle debate.

Dentists say they wanted to deny their foes the credibility of sharing a platform. They later held their own information forum.

Fleming told council he has never exchanged an email with Hoediono. He suggested dentists were impugning his reputation.

Council is ending water fluoridation Nov. 29 after residents voted 50.3 per cent against a longtime public health practice meant to reduce cavities. Only 195 votes separated the Yes and No sides out of 30,727 ballots cast.