Montreal to take over West Island drinking water

Future fluoridation policy remains unclear

By Robert Frank

Montreal’s urban agglomeration will take over the Pointe Claire purification plant, which supplies several West Island cities with their drinking water, Jan. 1.

Beaconsfield Mayor David Pollock told residents who attended the Sept. 23 city council meeting that the move might help to reduce the burden on local ratepayers, who have long been double-taxed by the administrative lump left over after the province freed most West Island municipalities from a forced demerger, Jan. 1, 2006.

Pollock reminded the packed council chamber that membership in the agglomeration council is stacked so that Montreal can always outvote the demerged municipalities, and that “my experience of Montreal is that if it can have the best of both worlds, then it will take it.”

He cited a recent victory, though, in which together with Baie d’Urfé Mayor Maria Tutino, he succeeded in reversing a proposal that would have seen West Islanders contribute to the cost of installing water meters in Montreal residences.

“Why would residents of a city that has water meters want to pay for the cost of installing them in a city that hasn’t?” he asked in return.

Pollock was uncertain whether Montreal would impose its anti-fluoridation policy, once it takes over the Pointe Claire facility next year.

“I don’t think so,” he said, while acknowledging that “Montreal has had a longstanding policy not to fluoridate [municipal drinking water].”

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