October 23, 2018

Archives for May 2016

No fluoride in city water

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Greg Peerenboom, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, Cornwall, Ontario 25-May-2016 – Updated version of story: Cornwall residents won’t be ingesting fluoride through their tap water.

After a drawn-out debate, a motion from Coun. Andre Rivette to “continue” fluoridation did not pass after a deadlocked, recorded 5-5 vote.

Rivette had the support of councillors Denis Carr, Bernadette Clement, Elaine MacDonald and Mark MacDonald.

Opposing the motion were councillors Claude McIntosh, Maurice Dupelle, David Murphy, Carilyne Hebert and, with the last vote, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy.

Coun. Justin Towndale is on a leave of absence, but indications are he was leaning toward discontinuing fluoridation.

After clerk Helen Finn announced that a tie vote means the motion was defeated, about a dozen spectators in the gallery applauded.

“Hundreds have said they don’t want it,” O’Shaughnessy said before the vote.

On the other hand, he could “count on one hand” the number of residents he’s talked to who are in favour of adding fluoride to the water, which was taken out in 2013 as a result of equipment failure.

The mayor explained that “I’m not a scientist” so he could not make a scientific decision.

Others preceded the mayor, citing their lack of scientific training in medicine to make a decision based on information supplied by fluoride proponents and opponents.

In April, council heard from pro-fluoridation Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis and Chief Dental Officer of Canada Dr. Peter Cooney and anti-fluoridation’s Dr. Paul Connett.

Contacted Wednesday, Roumeliotis offered a brief statement of dismay.

“We are extremely disappointed that council did not listen to the scientific/evidence-based advice of health professionals that are mandated and committed to protecting and promoting the health and wellness of all Cornwall residents.”

Carr briefly expressed his belief that fluoridation should continue because the status quo wasn’t defeated, but the mayor explained the motion was to “continue” and that it did not require a two-thirds support.

It’s not clear whether the issue has finally been settled.

After the meeting, after he left the chambers, O’Shaughnessy told Rivette that he would consult a lawyer on the legality of the vote.

Rivette humbly admitted afterwards that he should have worded his motion to ask council to “discontinue” fluordiation, surmising that with a tie, the city would revert to the status quo of adding fluoride to the water.

Mark MacDonald also tried to introduce a new motion to present another option, but was denied by the mayor.

Contacted Wednesday, MacDonald said he wasn’t going to press forward, deferring to the mayor’s position of power, but felt the debate “wasn’t handled properly. As far I’m concerned it’s the mayor’s fault – it wasn’t handled properly.”

Rivette’s motion followed an attempt by Clement to hold a referendum that would allow Cornwall voters to cast ballots for or against fluoridation during the 2018 municipal election.

“I’ve never seen the public so engaged in an issue,” Clement said, of the interest expressed through calls to council or through the media.

The referendum motion only attracted two supporters, O’Shaughnessy and Elaine MacDonald.

http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2016/05/25/no-fluoride-in-city-water

NO FLUORIDE: Council vote to support fluoridation ties 5-5

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Cornwall Seaway News, Cornwall, Ontario 24-May-2016 – Cornwall’s drinking water will remain fluoride free. A motion from Coun. Andre Rivette, that specifically asked council members if they were in favour of water fluoridation ended in a 5-5 tie.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy interpreted the move as the discontinuation of fluoridation in city water, though some city councillors are disputing that suggestion.

The problem lies in the fact that city policies mandate that Cornwall’s water must be fluoridated. Coun. Denis Carr floated the idea that a two-thirds majority of council must vote to change that sentiment, but he was overruled by the mayor.

Regardless of that vote, council did not vote on – or even discuss – spending $340,000 on upgrades to the water filtration plant that must be completed before fluoridation can resume in Cornwall.

O’Shaughnessy said the sentiment in the community was overwhelmingly against water fluoridation.

“Ten people have emailed me to tell me they want fluoride, as opposed to the hundreds who have told me they don’t want it,” said the mayor. “I’ve listened and reviewed the material sent to me…therefore, what I have been doing is listening to the people. Overwhelmingly the people have said they don’t want fluoride in their water. Whatever their reason doesn’t really matter. They are telling me to support them.”

O’Shaughnessy, as well as councillors Claude McIntosh, David Murphy, Maurice Dupelle and Carilyn Hebert voted against the continuation of water fluoridation.

The balance of city council, minus Coun. Justin Towndale who is on leave, voted to maintain the practice.

Coun. Bernadette Clement moved a motion, that was seconded by Coun. Elaine MacDonald, to have the issue put to the public by way of a question at the next municipal election.

That move was resoundinly defeated by council.

The city has been without fluoridated water for nearly three years, since a valve broke at the water filtration plant. To repair the valve and complete other health and safety upgrades would have cost $350,000.

COMMENTS FROM COUNCIL

BERNADETTE CLEMENT

“I can tell you that I have read almost everything that has been sent to me. I have watched everything that has been sent to me.

For me it’s about health care. On technical expertise I turn to our engineers and our urban planners. It doesn’t mean I agree with them…but I rely on their technical expertise. So why would I be different here?

All of these practitioners tell us this fluoridation of water is an appropriate health care measure. My feeling is I have to listen to physicians…and if they say this is a proper process then I have to agree with them.”

ANDRE RIVETTE

“We have to make a decision here. All the information we received here, was on the fluoride. Health and safety, that is a given. I can tell you, in Windsor they are putting it back in.

Council’s decision is to make a motion tonight and to deal with it.”

MAURICE DUPELLE

“We’ve heard from the pros and the cons. The residents of Cornwall elect us to make all the decisions, including the tough decisions. Tonight is the night we need to take the vote.”

ELAINE MACDONALD

“I’m convinced of the validity that our medical experts are telling us. Good sound public policy has to trump the vagaries of public choice. Not all opinions are equal.

How many dentists signed on giving the same opinions? Those opinions count for more than a thousand tweets and Facebook opinions.”

CLAUDE McINTOSH

“I see no statistics of a mass epidemic (of dental maladies) in South Glengarry or the counties. The city started treating water in 1962, if it’s such a great thing why do we have five times more dentists than we had in 1962?”

DENIS CARR

“There’s no doubt about it we have been inundated with information. The process purifies the water and the fluoride is added to protect young people in particular. We have never, ever taken actions that would put any of our employees in danger.

To suggest that we would is terrible.”

DAVID MURPHY

“If this is public policy, it’s easy – make it public policy. They did it with smoking, why not this? Vaccines are optional – this isn’t. It’s in our water.

There are options to ensure the people who want fluoride get their fluoride.”

CARILYN HEBERT

“We are now the most educated to make this decision. We’ve heard it all. I’m still not an expert on this, but I have put a lot of work into reading and watching videos.”

Coun. Mark MacDonald made no public comments on the issue.

http://www.cornwallseawaynews.com/News/2016-05-24/article-4538430/NO-FLUORIDE%3A-Council-vote-to-support-fluoridation-ties-5-5/1

Cornwall council defeats motion to return fluoride to drinking water

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Greg Peerenboom, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, Cornwall, Ontario 24-May-2016 – Cornwall residents won’t be ingesting fluoride through their tap water.

After a drawn out debate, a motion from Coun. Andre Rivette to “continue” fluoridation did not pass after a deadlocked, recorded 5-5 vote.

Rivette got support from councillors Denis Carr, Bernadette Clement, Elaine MacDonald and Mark MacDonald.

Opposing the motion were councillors Claude McIntosh, Maurice Dupelle, David Murphy, Carilyne Hebert and, with the last vote, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy.

After clerk Helen Finn announced that a tie vote means the motion was defeated, about a dozen spectators in the gallery applauded.

“Hundreds have said they don’t want it,” O’Shaughnessy said before the vote.

On the other hand, he could “count on one hand” the number of residents in favour of adding fluoride to the water, which was taken out in 2013 as a result of equipment failure.

The mayor explained that “I’m not a scientist” so he could not make a scientific decision.

Others preceded the mayor, citing their lack of scientific training in medicine to make a decision based on information supplied by fluoride proponents and opponents.

Rivette’s motion followed an attempt by Clement to hold a referendum that would allow Cornwall voters to cast ballots for or against fluoridation.

“I’ve never seen the public so engaged in an issue,” Clement said, of the interest expressed through calls to council or through the media.

It only attracted two supporters, O’Shaughnessy and Elaine MacDonald.

Carr briefly expressed his belief that fluoridation should continue because the status quo wasn’t defeated, but the mayor explained the motion was to “continue” and that it did not require a two-thirds support.

Mark MacDonald also tried to introduce a new motion to present another option, but was denied by the mayor.

http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2016/05/24/cornwall-council-defeats-motion-to-return-fluoride-to-drinking-water

Arguments do add up

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: William General (Opinion Letters), Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, Cornwall, Ontario 23-May-2016 – In response to Mr. Renner’s argument against fluoride in our water, the arguments do add up.

I do not know where you got your information from — all the people I have spoken to do not want it back in our drinking water. Period. That includes some members of city council, who I will not name.

Most country’s around the world have banned it, as have a lot of towns in Ontario, Windsor as a prime example.

Just because the Ontario Ministry of Health and others say it is okay does not make it so. Do any of those groups who endorse it have any medical proof it will not affect people’s health? No, because they have not done any research.

There is tons of information in your own public library and on the Internet, about the dangers of drinking it and handling it (fluoride).

Are you aware that city council in Parry Sound voted to put it back in their water, much to the anger of the whole town who took up a petition to remove it? And, they did remove it.

Why are you so in favour of it, do you have shares in the companies that produces this poison?

Do you know where it comes from? From the dirty chimmeys of alumium plants.

It’s against the law to dump it in our landfill sites, yet some want to put it in our tap water. Get real.

William General

Cornwall

http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2016/05/23/cornwall-letters-for-may-25

Avoid fluoride consumption — it serves no useful purpose

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Patrick J Ducharme, Ducharme Fox LLP (Reader Letters), The Windsor Star, Windsor, Ontario 20-May-2016 – Re: Fluoride decision may be taken away from municipalities, by Dave Battagello, May 16.

Windsor council’s vote to remove fluoride from the city’s drinking water in 2013 was courageous and intelligent. Any effort by the province to reverse that decision should be rejected.

The recent water crisis in Flint has produced one positive effect. The public knows now to question whether our drinking water is safe. And, reliance upon government agencies, environmental authorities and the pharmaceutical companies that benefit from the sale of fluoride is foolhardy.

Here are some of the salient reasons that led to Windsor rejecting fluoride:

Fluoride is an endocrine disrupting, neurotoxic and bone-weakening substance.

Fluoride is recognized as a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sodium fluoride can only be dispensed by prescription.

Humans have no recognized physiological need for fluoride.

Adding fluoride to drinking water prevents controlling the amount consumed or the persons affected, including children too young to provide informed consent.

It is important to know that Windsor’s decision to remove fluoride, while informed, was not unique. Hundreds of communities and countries have decided likewise. Virtually all of Western Europe has rejected water fluoridation.

Fluorosis results from increased consumption of fluoride. The toothpaste industry is keenly aware of the possibility of successful lawsuits not unlike those that have been launched against the cigarette industry.

They know that fluoride must pose a danger because they place prominent warning labels on all toothpaste that contains fluoride. Some manufacturers warn parents to supervise their children’s tooth-brushing and to teach them to prevent swallowing toothpaste.

Our politicians should not be swayed by those bought and paid for by Big Pharma, including members of any Dental Association. Fluoride is a drug. Last year over 100,000 persons in the United States died from the negative side effects of drugs taken as prescribed.

Fluoride serves no useful purpose. Its consumption should be avoided.

http://windsorstar.com/opinion/letters/avoid-fluoride-consumption-it-serves-no-useful-purpose

Fluoride at dentist’s office different than in drinking water

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Christine Moody (Reader Letters), The Windsor Star, Windsor, Ontario 20-May-2016 – I think our council is weak to consider passing on the decision of whether or not to fluoridate Windsor’s water to, of all places, the Ontario Liberal government.

Drew Dilkens and Percy Hatfield, I was at those council meetings back in 2013 and heard what you heard. Who’s now pressuring you to unlearn what you knew to be a truth back then? Are you listening to dentists who are mandated to support fluoridation as a condition of their license?

Flouridealert.org is one site that answers a lot of questions and provides a lot of stats on fluoride use worldwide. And, if you didn’t already know, the fluoride added to drinking water is not the fluoride applied to your teeth at the dentist’s office. Not even close, and this is important.

They want you to ingest this stuff, not soak your teeth with it. If you have a fluoride treatment at the dentist office, they make you spit it out, but now, they want you to drink it.

The Dental Association studies will tell you cavities are up since fluoride was removed from Windsor’s water. Good people of Ontario, ask yourself how often your kids asked for a glass of tap water before or after it was fluoridated?

Dental health is often genetic and we’re taught that we should brush our teeth, floss, stay away from sugar and go to the dentist every six to nine months.

Do people think drinking fluoridated water relieves you of the responsibility of just taking care of your teeth and hoping the gene gods smile kindly upon you?

If our current council doesn’t have the backbone to keep our water safe, then it’s time for new blood.

http://windsorstar.com/opinion/letters/fluoride-at-dentists-office-different-than-in-drinking-water

Council to discuss three fluoride options at next week’s meeting

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Cornwall Seaway News, Cornwall, Ontario 19-May-2016 – City councillors will debate three options for fluoridating Cornwall’s water at a meeting next week.

The options include voting to spend at least $350,000 on upgrades at the water filtration plant that will allow for the return of hydrofluorosilicic acid (the active ingredient that creates fluoride), do no repairs at all or referring the matter to the general public by way of a question at the next municipal election, an online survey or social media feedback.

While the city has policies in place that mandate fluoride in our water, the practice was suspended three years ago when health and safety concerns at the filtration plant forced municipal managers to discontinue its inclusion.

Since then councillors have booted around the issue, holding a number of meetings on the subject and hosting both proponents and critics of water fluoridation at city hall.

Regardless of the decision council makes, there is still some 15,000 litres of toxic hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) in storage at the water filtration plant that must be removed – at a cost of $43,000.

“It is imperative to remove the HFSA,”reads a report from city infrastructure manager John St. Marseille. “The HFSA is a very strong acid containing heavy metals and it must be managed accordingly. Also, with warmer weather and more humidity at the (water plant), the off-gasing potential of hazardous hydrogen fluoride is enhanced.”

Next week’s city council meeting takes place on Tuesday, following the Victoria Day long weekend.

http://www.cornwallseawaynews.com/News/2016-05-19/article-4534265/Council-to-discuss-three-fluoride-options-at-next-weeks-meeting/1

Calgary man launches petition in fluoride debate

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Brodie Thomas, Metro News, Calgary, Ontario 17-May-2016 – Petitioner hopes for 120,000 signatures, but wants to raise awareness.

Nicholas Godwin wants Calgarians to get another kick at the can in the fluoride debate.

The 27-year-old saw the issue erupt last February when a study by the University of Calgary was published, showing a jump in reported cavities in children since 2011.

Godwin moved to Calgary around the time fluoride was removed.

“I’d heard that they’d recently taken it out, and then I didn’t think too much of it. I wondered what my chances are of getting cavities.”

But when he was recently laid up after knee surgery, Godwin spent some time researching the fluoride debate and he decided to launch a petition on Change.org.

“It’s a very simple and low-cost solution to providing this kind of dental health assurance for a mass population,” he said. “The amount of money that goes into upgrading a treatment plant or putting the fluoride into the waster is miniscule in relation to the people it helps.”

Coun. Richard Pootmans said he was pleased to hear someone has taken on a petition on the matter.

He cautioned Godwin on the use of an online petition

“I would strongly encourage him to get in touch with the city clerk’s office,” said Pootmans, adding that he thinks a petition to force a plebiscite would need ink-on-paper signatures.

Godwin will need to get 120,000 signatures to force a plebiscite. For now – he’s just hoping to raise awareness.

“Alberta Municipalities Act says you need 10 per cent of the population to force a plebiscite – that’s a moon shot for me,“ he said.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2016/05/17/calgary-man-launches-petition-in-fluoride-debate.html

Fluoride provincial take-over applauded

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Peter Langille, AM800 CKLW, Windsor, Ontario 17-May-2016 – The Windsor Essex County Medical Officer of Health agrees the decision of fluoridation in water should be a provincial decision.

Dr. Gary Kirk is reacting to proposed legislation that would remove the choice of adding fluoride to the drinking water supply from municipalities.

Speaking on the Lynn Martin Show on AM800, Dr. Kirk says the health unit is still waiting for the legislation to be passed.

He says making it a provincial decision is the most fair.

Kirk says fluoridation has scientific credentials: “the most august scientific bodies in not just Canada but also the US and the world believe emphatically that water fluoridation is a safe effective and equitable measure to take”

He agrees with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens that it is not an issue local politicians are well versed on.

The local board of health passed a resolution in December of 2014 supporting fluoridation in the drinking water supply.

http://www.am800cklw.com/News/Headlines/Fluoride-provincial-take-over-applauded

Fluoride decision may be taken away from municipalities

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Dave Battagello, Windsor Star, Windsor, Ontario 16-May-2016 – Ontario’s Liberal government is poised to take over the decision of adding fluoride to municipal drinking water, which could change the course of a contentious three-year-old resolution by the City of Windsor to remove the chemical from its water supply.

The issue of whether or not to add fluoride in drinking water has become such a hot-button topic in municipalities like Windsor that the province is looking at stepping in by the end of the year.

Liberal MPP Bob Delaney (Mississauga-Streetsville) has already presented several petitions calling for change in the Fluoridation Act that would remove the responsibility from municipalities. He expects to have submitted up to 250,000 signatures calling for the change in the coming months and has support from local health units, including Windsor.

(Windsor) Mayor Drew Dilkens believes that can’t happen soon enough.

“Why leave this public health decision to municipal councillors — a vast majority who have no science background, no real ability to make a truly informed decision whether it’s safe to have fluoride in drinking water or not,” he said.

Windsor’s council, following a heated debate, voted in 2013 to remove the additive from drinking water against the advice of its own Medical Officer of Health. But councillors were convinced after community groups voiced concerns and presented evidence the chemical causes weaker joints and more broken bones over time. Council’s decision included a five-year moratorium before it could be revisited.

Some local dentists said recently they are seeing a spike in tooth decay among children since fluoride was removed.

Dilkens voted to remove fluoride and still supports that decision.

“I’m convinced there is at least a concern in the science community,” he said. “There are benefits (to dental health), but we don’t know the problems. It’s not an easy issue to understand.”

Regardless, local council should not be placed in a position to decide, Dilkens said. “An issue of public health should be mandated provincially one way or another,” he said.

Delaney said he supports having fluoride in the water system and while the desire for the change in legislation exists within government ministries, “you can’t presume the outcome of the deliberations. … My hope is to take the path forward and turn it into legislation.”

Far too often municipalities and their councils have been battlegrounds for the issue, Delaney said.

“You end up with the same battle over and over,” he added. “Many of the people involved with either side are often from outside Ontario. Just like smoking legislation, we need to make this a level playing field for everybody.”

An official with Ontario’s health ministry said no changes “at this time” are being contemplated for the Fluoridation Act, but the ministry supports including fluoride in drinking water.

“An estimated 72 per cent of Ontarians currently have access to fluoridated drinking water,” said spokesman David Jensen. “The ministry considers water fluoridation to be an important public health measure that prevents dental decay, reduces oral health inequities and improves health outcomes.

Windsor’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Gary Kirk agrees the decision needs to be made by the provincial government and not municipalities. The local board of health is among those on record calling for the change in legislation and also for fluoride to be included in drinking water.

“It would make it less ambiguous,” he said. “You need to take the pressure off municipalities for these decisions, whether they voted affirmative or negative. The province has access to the proper resources to determine whether it should be supported.

“The board of health continues to think it is a very necessary component of oral health and hygiene.”

Local MPP Percy Hatfield (NDP — Windsor-Tecumseh) was still on city council when the fluoride decision was made. He described it Monday as being his “least enjoyable time” as city councillor.

“You had so much passion from people on both sides,” Hatfield said. “We were hit with stacks and stacks of evidence — documents, (web) links, videos. The information was intense and so much of it was direct opposite of the other side of information.”

Hatfield said he voted to remove fluoride at the time based on Leamington which long ago removed fluoride from its water to accommodate Heinz which would not put it in its baby food.

But he has since changed his mind after talking to dentists from across Ontario and feels it should be mandated to be included in drinking water.

Hatfield believes the Liberal government will soon move to take the issue away from municipalities based on the number of petitions its MPPs at Queen’s Park, including Delaney, have presented.

“I want to have the province make the call,” he said. “You can’t have municipalities tearing each other apart on this. The (health) ministry should say this is the recommendation one way or another and move forward.”

windsorstar.com/news/local-news/fluoride-decision-may-be-taken-away-from-municipalities