Calls to put the teeth-grinding debate surrounding fluoride in Calgary water shouldn’t be decided at the ballot box, says a local alderman.

Five aldermen today will call on their council colleagues to ban the chemical used in the city’s water supply since 1991, despite Mayor Dave Bronconnier suggesting the best course is holding a plebiscite on the issue.

Ald. Andre Chabot said Calgary has already weathered six referendums on the controversial dental care compound added to drinking water — dating back to 1957 — and with new evidence showing potential health problems, he says council needs to bite the bullet.

“Having another plebiscite is an easy way out, but we have to do what’s in the best interest of all Calgarians,” he said. “We got elected to make these tough decisions.”

Chabot said with mounting evidence questioning the health benefits of fluoride, along with the potential risks, shutting off the taps as soon as possible is the best option.

The cost to put fluoride in Calgary water is $600,000 annually.

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