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City hosting fluoride open house in October

The question of whether or not the City of Cranbrook should continue the practice of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply will be put to a referendum this November. As part of the ramp up to the vote, the city will be hosting an open house on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Manual Training Centre.

The topic of the open house will centre around informing the public on the potential benefits and dangers that ingesting fluoride can have.

Cranbrook is one of a small minority of communities that still add fluoride to their water supply. Those include Sparwood, Prince George, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert and Terrace. Prince George will be having a non-binding referendum on the matter.

Cranbrook's referendum vote will be held as part of the municipal election on November 15, 2014. The city is encouraging all eligible voters to participate.

The referendum question on the ballot will be: "Are you in favour of Council adopting the City of Cranbrook Cease Fluoridation Bylaw No. 3799, 2014, which authorizes stopping the addition of fluoride to the municipal water supply effective January 1, 2015?"

A yes vote is for eliminating fluoride from the water, while a no vote is for the continued addition of it.

The Oct. 23 meeting will feature Canadian health experts on both sides of the fluoride debate. Dr. Alastair Nicoll, of the BC Dental Association, and a local dentist will argue for the continued addition of fluoride to the water, while Dr. James Beck, Professor Emeritus for Medical Biophysics at the University of Calgary and co-author of 'The Case Against Fluoride', will advocate against.

The presentation will be moderated by David Walls, president and CEO of the College of the Rockies. The speakers will stick around to meet the public and respond to questions for the remainder of the evening.

The City of Cranbrook's website also provides public information about the fluoride electoral assent question, the history of water fluoridation in Cranbrook and a place to learn more about fluoride with links to studies, reports and opinions around the pros and cons of water fluoridation. Visit www.cranbrook.ca/fluoride for more information.

The Manual Training School is located at 1212 - 2nd Street North, next to the Cranbrook Public Library. All are invited to the free public event.

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