Category Archives: Discussion / Debate

Popularity Contest

PopularToday as I grabbed my copy of the Free Press from my mail box I noticed some flashy colours and a couple of fancy graph thingys on the front. Then I saw the title “Council Gets a Failing Grade” and got excited. I thought that it was going to be a juicy article about Potholes, Crime, Winter Olympics, Taxes, and City Pride, among other things. After reading the article, I was disappointed, to say the least, as it was just a bunch of numbers and no reasons to support why our elected city officials are failing us.

I can see why people are disappointed as it doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out. I have lived in Prince George now for eight years now and I can see what the citizens of Prince George are screaming for. Promises were made during last election by our current elected officials and the only promise that has been fulfilled is the Core Review. The Pot-Holes haven’t gotten any smaller, crime is still a major issue that honours us with a cruel title every year across Canada, snow removal has gotten worse, and Council has raised taxes by 3% or more in both of the budgets they have been involved in.

The Core Review was suppose to be a positive assessment tool for the city, to help us cut some costs, and assess spending but it looks like it is becoming a hindrance and doing the exact opposite. It appears to be slowing down the decision making process and creating more issues for council to debate week after week. Now the blame cannot all rest on the shoulders of our current city council. With a measly 27% voter turn out people elected two-thirds of the previous council. Please citizens of Prince George tell me how do we expect things to change when we keep electing the same people with the same ideas?

It’s time for action. It’s time for council to make some hard choices and live with the consequences. No more playing it safe, time to become very popular or very unpopular. Oh wait it looks like council is well on it way to unpopular.

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Something in the Water

Tall Glass 3On Monday night I got to witness some of the fireworks that can happen at a council meeting. Now lets not blow this too far out of proportion as it was only a couple of council members that have passionate views on one of Prince George’s Core review topics. The topic of  Water Fluoridation has been around for years and has come up more than once in past council meetings. Albert Koehler put the debate back on the table Monday night and had some great points against the fluoridation of Prince George water. Garth Frizzel provided rebuttals that supported water fluoridation and brought up that in 2011 they had this very debate.

With this debate going on with in City council and the possibility of it going to referendum I thought to myself “I guess I should do some research so that when it comes time to vote I’ll be ready”. After doing some reading the Pros and the Cons appear to weight each other out. A few of the Pros include: strengthening tooth enamel, and preventing tooth decay, cavities and tooth loss. It has also been linked to increases in bone density. On the flip side it does not decrease fractures and may actually weaken bones. Fluoride can also cause cosmetic damage to teeth called Fluorosis. Unfortunately while doing my research it became very clear that the propaganda for both sides of the debate have made it very hard to find out any truths. I did however come to a conclusion as to which way I’ll vote on referendum day. After reading pages upon pages of research for both sides I came across a statement that struck a chord with me. It came from an article in a local paper, of all places, from a Dr. James Beck. He stated that  “medicating a population without its consent is unethical”. This statement is true as I did not ask for or consent to my water being tampered with.

We have a right to choose whether we want our water to have fluoride in it or not. We have the choice to use toothpaste with fluoride in it, but it doesn’t stop there. With mouth rinse, other dental products, and semi-annual fluoride treatments, these are all choices we get to make each day. Of all these choice not one requires you to swallow it. We have to drink the water with fluoride in it everyday and I cannot find any definitive research that supports either side. So we are  left with nothing other than our right of choice was taken from us. People are being forced to drink fluorinated water with very few other choices. I can see if people want the fluoride in their water then they can go ahead and choose to put the chemical in, but to not let people choose feels like an invasion of ones rights.

Within the Core review, the recommendation to stop Fluoridation of the Prince George drinking water would save tax payers around $55,000 a year, which is not a huge sum of money, but a savings none the less. This debate is going to go to be a referendum question on the ballot of the 2014 election. Maybe this will settle it once and for all, but I highly doubt the fight will be over once the votes are counted.

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