Bring back water fluoridation to Calgary

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In 2011 the City of Calgary discontinued the addition of fluoride to the city’s drinking water. This shameful decision, spearheaded by Councillor Druh Farrell, was taken in the face of multiple high-quality studies supporting the benefits of fluoridation for the prevention of childhood dental caries. Not only did the council ignore the input of acknowledged experts in the field it also refused to refer the matter to an expert panel. (

Not surprisingly this decision has been shown to have caused a deterioration in the dental health of the children of Calgary. ( As a community paediatrician I see the toll that dental caries takes on the most vulnerable children in our community on a daily basis.

The post-truth and alternative-fact based decision by Alderman Farrell and her anti-fluoridation supporters must be reversed.

The City of Calgary will be holding a plebiscite on whether Calgary should make a bid for the 2016 Winter Olympics later this year. (Ironically, City councillors voted for the Olympic plebiscite to ensure that Calgary voters have a say, something that they did not feel was required for fluoridation).  This plebiscite provides a perfect opportunity to revisit the fluoridation issue.

We call on City Council to add fluoridation to the Olympic plebiscite. Let voters make themselves heard on this topic – guided by scientific, objective and evidenced-based information. 

For critical and informed analysis of fluoridation please see the following:

Alberta Health Services:

Health Canada

Canadian Paediatric Society:

Canadian Dental Association

American Dental Association

American Academy of Pediatrics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)

US Public Health Service 

National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia)