file photo by Stephanie Chaves.

Sarnia Council Deadlocked On Fluoride Issue

The question of whether or not residents want fluoride removed from their drinking water will stay off the ballot.

A motion to ask those voting in the October municipal election their position on the issue was defeated by Sarnia council in a 3-3 recorded tie vote Monday.

Councillor Bev MacDougall couldn’t support the motion.

“I must go with my gut that says this is a public health issue,” says MacDougall. “I am not a scientist. I’m here elected here to read my brains out, to exhaust myself on every matter that is put before me until I can hardly stand another discussion about it. But, I don’t believe that a plebiscite is a way to manage a public health issue.”

Councillor Dave Boushy felt asking the public would have been very helpful for the next council.

“It comes up every year and it seems like the motion to take it to the public, and say ‘what do you think?’, are you in favour or you aren’t, will serve the problem and it will not come up at city council anymore,” says Boushy. “Don’t underestimate the intellect of the people. They would listen to both sides and make up their mind. Either yes or no.”

Councillors Anne Marie Gillis, Mike Kelch and Andy Bruziewicz were absent Monday.

Sarnia council went on the record in 2013 supporting the removal of fluoride from our drinking water.

However, the 5-4 recorded vote didn’t change the outcome because legally four out of the six Lambton Area Water Supply System member municipalities had to vote against fluoridation to have it removed and other municipalities didn’t agree, so it remained.