Windsor

Fluoride coming back into Windsor's water, after Tecumseh's yes vote

Council voted in favour of reintroducing fluoride into the water Tuesday night.

Windsor's mayor says it could take up to a year before fluoride is put back into the water

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara says he based his decision to support fluoridation in science, and says he's proud of council. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

The Town of Tecumseh has voted in favour of reintroducing fluoride to the water system, which means Windsor and LaSalle will also have fluoridated water flowing from their taps.

Council voted in favour Tuesday night, with all members who were present expressing their support of fluoridating the water.

Coun. Tania Jobin, who was not present, was opposed to it, according to Mayor Gary McNamara.

McNamara said his decision to support fluoridation is rooted in science.

"It's the right thing to do," he said.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, was thrilled with the decision.

"Definitely, it's a win tonight," said Ahmed.

Last month, Windsor city council unanimously passed a bylaw to reintroduce fluoride to Windsor's water system. This after council passed a motion, eight to three, back in December to reintroduce it.

Majority rules

Reintroducing fluoride in Windsor will come with an $850,000 price tag, most of that for start-up costs. Both Tecumseh and LaSalle share Windsor's water supply.

At least one of the other two municipalities needed to support reintroducing fluoride before the change can be made.

All Tecumseh council members present at the meeting voted in favour of fluoridation. Coun. Tania Jobin, who was not present, was opposed to it, according to the mayor. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy said on Tuesday night that the fluoridation talk was to be scheduled for the next council agenda. He said he didn't know Tecumseh would be voting so soon.

"I didn't know the vote was coming tonight. So I guess it's a done deal now, we're going to have fluoride," said Bondy, who isn't a fluoride supporter.

He personally had been tracking the interactions he's had with LaSalle residents with regards to fluoride. He said a majority of them weren't supportive of putting it back into the water.

However, Bondy wonders if the decision will come back to council again years down the road. He thinks upper levels of government need to do studies that are intensive enough to advise municipalities on fluoridation.

"I'm guessing they don't have 100 per cent accurate information, otherwise they would just mandate everybody have it," said Bondy.

According to an earlier tweet by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, it could take a year to get approval from the province and buy the required equipment. 

City of Windsor confirmed Tuesday that once two of three municipalities voted in favour, the Windsor Utilities Commission could begin the fluoridation process.

Members of the public were present for Tuesday night's meeting. Many of them applauded as councillors expressed their support for fluoridation. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

With files from Katerina Georgieva and Flora Pan

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