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J Can Dent Assoc. 1999 Feb;65(2):101-4.

Continuing water fluoridation in the City of Calgary, Alberta, 1997-1998.


The issue of water fluoridation has a long history in the City of Calgary (population 820,000). There were five plebiscites before 1998, with only the 1989 plebiscite receiving a majority vote in favour of fluoridation. Calgary introduced water fluoridation in 1991. In the fall of 1997, the City sponsored a review of water fluoridation as a public policy based on information provided by a group of concerned citizens. An expert panel was formed to look at the new scientific information on the subject; four of the five members agreed that there was not sufficient evidence upon which to make substantial changes to the water fluoridation policy. Nevertheless, the City's Standing Policy Committee on Operations and Environment recommended that a plebiscite on water fluoridation be held in conjunction with the 1998 municipal election. This decision was ultimately supported by City Council. Under the direction of the Calgary Regional Health Authority, the Fluoride Education Steering Committee undertook three strategies for the campaign: building partnerships, educating health professionals and educating the public. In spite of the anti-fluoridation activities, Calgarians voted 55 per cent in favour of continuing fluoridation of the municipal water supply.

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