Calgary city council says no to re-assessing fluoride in tap water

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WATCH ABOVE: Calgary city council voted against opening up the debate of fluoride in the city’s drinking water, but now the city is looking to the province to find another way to keep citizen’s teeth healthy. Global’s Tracy Nagai reports – Sep 14, 2016

The City of Calgary is closing the door on the controversial debate over water fluoridation.

On Tuesday evening, members of Calgary’s city council voted down a motion asking for the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health (OIPH) to “conduct an objective assessment” on the fluoridation of tap water. The motion lost nine to five.

“What council didn’t want to do, was set an expectation that we were interested in re-opening the fluoride debate,” Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley said.

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Fluoride was removed from the city’s public water supply in 2011, but new research released in February prompted some to question the decision. The study, led by Dr. Lindsay McLaren, 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

The notice of motion was put forward by Peter Demong, Diane Colley-Urquhart and Richard Pootmans. It asked for a report on the OIPH’s findings to be presented to councillors by December.

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Pootmans told Global News there were “a lot of reasons” the motion didn’t pass, one being questions over whether it was a safe thing to do.

“Another issue which arose during the debate, which came on a little more strongly than I expected, was the role of a municipal versus a provincial government in essentially a health-care issue,” Pootmans said.

READ MORE: Alberta children suffering because dental care is out of reach

With files from Doug Vaessen and Carmen Chai

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