April 22, 2019

Archives for September 27, 2012

Brewer’s ‘Daily Dose’ 27-Sep-2012

Fluoridation to end in Central Hawkes Bay

By: Voxy.co.nz, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 27-Sep-2012

The Central Hawkes Bay District Council voted this morning 6-2 to end fluoridation in Waipukurau, the only local community with fluoridation.

A survey in 2009 revealed that 80% of residents did not want the fluoride chemical added to their water, but the results were withheld from councillors until the last minute, and fluoridation was retained at that time. This time, 95% of local submissions were to end the practice.

Waipukurau resident Graeme Rees attended this morning?s meeting. I was very impressed with the thoroughness with which councillors had independently and objectively investigated all aspects of the issue, he says. I congratulate the councillors for their due diligence regarding the facts and for respecting the voice of the Waipukurau community in making the right decision, he adds.

Fluoride Action Network NZ also congratulate the councillors on making a sound decision on behalf of their residents, says National Co-ordinator Mary Byrne Local body councillors throughout the country are finding that the touted benefit of reduced dental decay is not what it was thought to be and that fluoridation comes with serious risks to health which are simply not worth taking, especially when it is now known than fluoride works when applied to teeth, not swallowed.

There are now only 23 councils out of a total of 69 that continue fluoridation in New Zealand., she concludes.


Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector retires unexpectedly

John Stager, Former Ontario Chief Drinking Water Inspector

By: Staff Writer, Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation ~ Canadiens Opposés à la Fluoration, Ontario 27-Sep-2012 — Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector worked his last official day with the Ministry of the Environment on Friday, September 21, 2012. John Stager’s retirement was announced sometime last month via an internal MOE newsletter, however this official notification was not made public.  During our interview with several MOE staff members, each indicated Stager’s retirement came as something of a “surprise”.

Stager was appointed as Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector on December 15, 2008 under Ontario’s new Safe Drinking Water Act. Prior to that he served the MOE in environmental monitoring, reporting, compliance and enforcement, and in a series of transformation and business improvement initiatives.

During 2000, Stager represented the Ontario government in Walkerton, providing support to individuals, families and businesses following the E. coli outbreak.

Subsequent to the Walkerton incident and from 2004 to 2008, Stager headed up a cross-government compliance modernization initiative involving 13 ministries. In this role, he led a series of legislative and program initiatives to improve levels of cooperation between ministries and provide innovative compliance assistance tools to the regulated community.

Mr. Stager holds a B.Sc. from Acadia University. He is also a graduate of Western’s Ivey executive program and Harvard’s executive program on strategic management of regulatory and enforcement agencies.

Paul Nieweglowski, of the MOE Drinking Water Management Division, is currently acting as Ontario’s interim Chief Drinking Water Inspector. The position of Chief Drinking Water Inspector is a legislated position under the Act, so it cannot be left vacant at any moment in time.  In an MOE on-line document created on September 20, 2012 depicting their organizational structure,  Nieweglowski was already listed as [interim] Chief Drinking Water Inspector, presumably in preparation of Stager’s last official day on September 21.

Ontario’s SDWA was born out of the Wakerton tragedy and the resulting Inquiry presided over by Justice Dennis O’Connor. The SDWA incorporated recommendations made by O’Connor in his 2002 Report of the Walkerton Inquiry.

Under the new SDWA, owners and operators of drinking water systems are now responsible for ensuring that their drinking water systems: • provide water that meets all prescribed drinking water quality standards • operate in accordance with the Act and its regulations, and are kept in a fit state of repair • are appropriately staffed and supervised by qualified persons • comply with all sampling, testing and monitoring requirements • and meet all reporting requirements.

Presently, most all of the SDWA is in full force.  However, Section 19 comes into effect on January 1, 2013. Section 19 imposes a broader standard of care for municipal drinking water systems to include every person who, on behalf of the municipality, oversees the accredited operating authority of the system or exercises decision-making authority over the system. That standard of care extends to Ontario municipal councillors and mayors. Every person governed under that standard of reasonable care, who fails to carry out their duty in a prudent manner, can be found guilty of an offence.

A document put out by the Province of Ontario this year, called Taking Care of Your Drinking Water: A Guide for Members of Municipal Councils, is currently being circulated throughout Ontario municipalities in an attempt to ensure they are fully informed and ready for this Section 19 proclamation.  Presentations to these communities about the SDWA and Section 19 are also being undertaken.

In the 2002 O’Connor Report he stated, “Given that the safety of drinking water is essential for public health, those who discharge the oversight responsibilities of the municipality should be held to a statutory standard of care.”

In the 2012 Guide for Members of Municipal Councils Stager stated, “as Chief Drinking Water Inspector, I look forward to continuing to work with Ontario’s municipalities to safeguard Ontario’s drinking water.”

Stager is one of the original shepherds of the Safe Drinking Water Act. His shepherd’s staff has now been handed to another. It is the new shepherd who will herd all through the rocky pastures of Section 19. One has to wonder if Stager’s “surprise” retirement is a timely one, or an untimely one.