Councillors debate reintroducing fluoride to Calgary tap water

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WATCH: The debate over the addition of fluoride to Calgary's drinking water is back on tap at city hall. Doug Vaessen has details.

CALGARY – Debate over whether fluoride should be added to Calgary’s drinking water is back on tap at city council.

Officials removed fluoride from the city’s public water supply in 2011, but new research released last week is making some question the decision. The study, released Wednesday, suggested removing the mineral that strengthens teeth left kids with more cavities than before.

READ MORE: Here’s how removing fluoride from Calgary’s water affected kids’ teeth

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters at city hall on Monday that he would vote in favour of putting fluoride back in the city’s water supply.

Ward 6 Councillor Richard Pootmans, meanwhile, said he still has questions that need answers.

“Chamber debate has started. I’ve started it as a result of this study,” Pootmans said. “One of the issues actually is in terms of who’s going to finance the fluoride.”

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“In 2011, the cost of the fluoride itself and the operating costs of installing it into the water, injecting it into the water, was $750,000. The capital cost of refurbishing equipment was $5M. The cost today, of course, for new equipment will be more.”

Pootmans is meeting with Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary Zone Dr. Richard Musto on Wednesday to discuss the study’s findings, and whether the province would consider helping fund the costs associated with adding fluoride back into Calgary’s tap water.

– With files from Doug Vaessen