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Fluoride still not flowing in Calgary’s water

Click to play video: 'Supply chain issues blamed for delay in Calgary fluoride reintroduction'
Supply chain issues blamed for delay in Calgary fluoride reintroduction
WATCH: Last year city council voted in favour of putting fluoride back into Calgarians’ drinking water following a plebiscite question in the municipal election. While work was expected to take up to two years, city officials say the timeline has been extended to spring 2024 to factor in supply chain issues. As Tracy Nagai reports, those in favour of adding fluoride back say the work needs to happen more quickly. – Nov 16, 2022

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.

Read more: Calgary to reintroduce fluoride to water following city council vote

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For those on the pro-fluoride side of the debate that was settled last year, the extended timeline is an issue.

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“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.

Click to play video: 'Calgary to reintroduce fluoride in water after city council votes Monday'
Calgary to reintroduce fluoride in water after city council votes Monday

“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.”

Read more: Calgarians vote to bring fluoride back into drinking water

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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.

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