March 21, 2019

Okotoks Settles Fluoride Issue: Council votes 6-1 to end fluoridation

By: The Eagle 100.9 FM, Okotoks Online, Okotoks, Alberta 25-Apr-2012 – The Town of Okotoks is taking the Fluoride out of it’s drinking water.

In a 6-1 vote council agreed to repeal the existing fluoridation bylaw and direct administration to apply to Alberta Environment to stop putting it into the town’s water.

Councillor Florence Christophers, who originally brought the motion forward, was pleased that it passed.

“I think it’s a cautious, conservative way forward. I think it basically says to our community there’s some doubt around this issue, the science isn’t clear and we’re asking for that science before we deny you the choice,” she explains. “I take very serious the ethical argument that there’s many, many citizens in our community that really want to be given the choice about whether or not this pharmaceutical, this chemical is in their bloodstream.”

She stresses that Fluoride is not the only option for good dental hygiene, pointing to the province of PEI as an example.

“60 percent of 12 year olds in their province have never had a cavity – it’s the lowest in Canada. And do they fluoridate? They don’t. They’ve done it in creative ways – they’ve worked with schools, they’ve done really great promotion campaigns around dental hygiene – that gets me excited!  Let’s get to the root of the issue instead of putting a controversial pharmaceutical in our water and dividing our community on this.”

A second motion passed will see administration consult with Alberta Health Services to ensure a program is in place to provide topical fluoride treatments or fluoridated toothpaste for individuals at risk of dental cavities and may need assistance.

Mayor Bill Robertson was the lone vote against the motion as he tried, unsuccessfully, to put the issue to a plebiscite as part of the next municipal election.

About 66-percent of respondents to the town’s survey said they either somewhat or strongly opposed the use of Fluoride in public drinking water.