Residents to vote on fluoride fate

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Residents will soon be able to settle the recent fluoride debate at the next municipal election.

On Monday, Fort St. John City Council passed a bylaw to allow the question of whether residents would like to continue having fluoride added to the City’s water supply.

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One Fort St. John resident approached the City in 2009, outlining the disadvantages fluoride added to water poses.

That same year, various health professionals spoke out about its removal. Dental Hygienist Linda Bourcet told City Council that fluoride is vital for low-income families who cannot afford regular dental checkups.

The City considered banning the chemical, but then ultimately chose to allow residents to decide its fate.

The topic is a difficult one, with strong arguments on either side, says Mayor Bruce Lantz.

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Lantz says residents are being given the opportunity to decide what they want the City to do and a simple majority will rule.

The question will be posed in a voting opportunity – or referendum – at the November municipal election.

The question will simply ask, ‘Are you in favour of the City of Fort St. John continuing to fluoridate its water supply?’

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If residents vote in favour of removing fluoride from the City’s water supply, he says it will be done as soon as is feasible. He also says that will probably mean additional fluoride will not be added to the water system.

– with files from Christine Rumleskie

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