Whether Calgary does or doesn’t have fluoride in its water appears to be a fluid situation.
Last year, council voted in favour of adding fluoride after a plebiscite question in the municipal election. However, if you think you’ve been drinking it over the last 12 months, you’re mistaken.
At the time of the vote, city officials told councillors it would take between 18 and 24 months to complete the work to add the mineral back into Calgarians water. But that timeline may now be extended.
City officials said work is now on track to have fluoridated water flowing from taps between April and June of 2024.
For those on the pro-fluoride side of the debate that was settled last year, the extended timeline is an issue.
“I sincerely hope city council will regard this as a priority matter and speed up the process,” said Dr. Juliet Guichon with the group “Calgarians for Kids’ Health.”
Guichon said dentists are seeing an increase of children suffering from tooth decay and it’s spilling into other areas of the healthcare system.
“Now they’re very young when they have whole-mouth decay and so they need to be treated under general anesthetic,” she said. “And there aren’t enough appointment times, so some of these children show up in the emergency room because they’ve got a serious infection.
“So there’s a great pressure on the already crowded Alberta Children’s Hospital.”
The city said supply chain issues are responsible for any delays.
In a statement to Global News on Wednesday they added that the new timeline allows for work to be done at both of Calgary’s water treatment plants, which includes the development and approval of the project design plan, ordering and installing new infrastructure, and securing a reliable source for fluoride.