The notice of motion was submitted by Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins, Ward 1 Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk, Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens, Ward 4 Coun. Lori Bresciani, Ward 5 Coun. John Findura, Ward 6 Coun. Dan LeBlanc, Ward 7 Coun. Terina Shaw, Ward 8 Coun. Shanon Zachidniak, Ward 9 Coun. Jason Mancinelli and Mayor Sandra Masters.
The motion cited scientific evidence that community water fluoride programs reduce cavities and improve overall health for residents.
“Dental care is incredibly expensive. In terms of people with more modest means and limited access to pay for dental care, this should help prevent tooth decay in children and help seniors with tooth decay later in life,” Mayor Masters told Global News.
Community water fluoridation programs currently exist in the cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg among others.
Community water fluoridation has also been identified by the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) as one of the 12 great public health milestones in the past one hundred years.
According to the CPHA, fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents cavities. It has been added to drinking water for nearly the last 65 years.
“Dental disease is the number one chronic disease among children and adolescents in North America. Fluoridation is, therefore, an important public health measure,” the CPHA states on their website.
The motion submitted at city council’s July 14 meeting stated that the program, if approved, would begin after the completion of the new Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, which is expected in 2025. There is space available in the design to accommodate fluoridation equipment.
Implementing the program would cost the city an estimated $2 million for a one-time equipment purchase and then about $210,000 per year for fluoride supplies.