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Gordon Sinclair's fluoride rant

To fluoridate or not to fluoridate? That's the question at the centre of one of the longest debates in Canadian history. Advocates of water fluoridation say it's a safe and effective way to reduce cavities. Opponents like the outspoken broadcaster Gordon Sinclair called it rat poison and a despicable communist plot. Water fluoridation: Great public service or a gross infringement of individual rights? The debate rages on.

media clip
Rat and bug poison!
Toronto-based broadcaster Gordon Sinclair is vehemently against adding "poison" to our public drinking water. In 1959, the time of this Sinclair commentary on CBC Radio, water fluoridation is once again a hotly debated topic.

City of Toronto had approved fluoridation in 1955, however protests and outcries, many spearheaded by Sinclair, means actual fluoridation of Toronto's water supply doesn't take place until years later.

Sinclair fervently objects to being forced to take medication he doesn't want. He sees it as a gross infringement of his basic rights.
• Despite Sinclair's crusading efforts Toronto begins to fluoridate its water supply in 1963. It follows years of tumultuous legal battles and a 1962 plebiscite which results in a hair-splitting vote of 50.1 percent in favour and 49.9 percent opposed.

• The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television hands out The Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism every year to a journalist demonstrating outspoken opinions and integrity in broadcasting.

• Sinclair's other passion was travel. He wrote several books as a result of his trips around the world including Footloose in India, Cannibal Quest, Will the Real Gordon Sinclair Please Stand Up and Will the Real Gordon Sinclair Please Sit Down.
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Feb. 25, 1959
Commentator: Gordon Sinclair
Host: Maria Barrett, Bill McNeil
Duration: 4:42

Last updated: June 27, 2014

Page consulted on June 27, 2014

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