Pro-fluoride councillors not about to let go

In this Nov. 23, 2015, file photo, Coun. Denis Carr votes on an issue at a Cornwall city council meeting. Carr will be looking into a motion on fluoride that was defeated in a tie vote Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Fluoride supporters on council are not about to let the issue die after a tie vote Tuesday night to continue fluoridating the city’s water supply.

According to municipal procedure, a tie vote results in a defeated motion.

“I don’t think we did the right thing here,” Coun. Denis Carr told Cornwall Newswatch. “The other thing you can do is challenge the ruling from the chair (Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy) but that’s not a nice thing to do.”

Carr says the matter isn’t done and he will be researching if the motion was sound. “I think I will find out exactly if we did the right thing. I didn’t think we could do what we did.”

The original motion before council was whether to repair the fluoridation equipment at the plant, whether to discontinue the addition of fluoride or whether to put the question to voters. The actual motion councillors voted on wasn’t part of the agenda package but a verbal proposal from Coun. Andre Rivette on continuing fluoridation of the city’s water supply.

“Some people that voted in favour I thought were going to vote against. Surprised me. I think it’s probably a dead issue but I think we have to make sure we’ve done the right thing,” he said.

Carr suggests the city should be pushing the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to encourage the province to make rulings on fluoride.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s a done issue as far as this council goes. If it wants to be reopened in the future, as far as I can see it takes two-thirds of a majority of council to do so,” O’Shaughnessy told Cornwall Newswatch.

The mayor said the next council can tackle it and it can be an election issue.

“As far as I’m concerned, this council or whatever, it’s an issue that is gone.”