Letters to the Editor: Oct. 27

Praise for hospital care; Fluoride and the fluoride forum

Regional Hospital

I recently visited Cranbrook on an elk hunt and had an unfortunate accident with a rather severe chest injury. I was in your Emergency Room of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital on the night of Sept. 12, 2014. Dr. Frank Ackerman and Dr. Laurent Hochart took care of me that night and the next five days.

You have a wonderful hospital and wonderful nurses. The nurses of the 2nd floor took such good care of me and were kind, compassionate and truly helpful.

I am an ear, nose and throat surgeon from Lousiana and I understand hospitals. You have a very good one with excellent physicians and excellent nurses. I am truly appreciative of the care that the Canadian medical system game me for the five days in that hospital until I came home.

Paul T. Gaudet M.D./Thibodaux, Louisiana

Fluoride Forum

Let me express my thanks to the City for providing the citizens of Cranbrook with a forum designed to help them make an informed choice when voting for or against its present use of fluoride in our water supply. It was good that the two opposing sides on this issue were represented in a balanced approach during the presentation, with a well qualified advocate on each side.

However, the planners of this event were remiss in allowing only ten minutes time for each presenter, with five minutes for a rebuttal. Since the whole session allowed two hours, it is unfortunate that such highly qualified presenters were expected to explain thoroughly the issue as each saw it in only ten minutes! Dr. James Beck expressed alarm, apparently not aware this would be the case, intimating that he couldn’t possibly even begin to explain his side in such a short time, having devoted many years of his professional life to the pursuit of this issue, and having come prepared with slides and documents to support his side of the debate. As a citizen in the audience expecting to become more enlightened by this debate, it was curious that nothing was done to accommodate this presenter’s concern.

If I hadn’t spoken up, supported by many in the audience, one and a half hours would have been spent on people individually lining up on opposite sides of the forum to ask and receive personal answers to their individual questions, which the general audience members would not even hear! Since I did speak up, general questions from the audience were then entertained for 45 minutes, and 45 minutes were spent on personal answers to individual questions. How much better it would have been if both presenters had been allowed more time to adequately present supporting evidence for their positions.

I wonder how many others in the audience felt the whole exercise did not help them make an informed decision on the ballot any more wisely than before?

Some may be interested in pursuing more information at : www.fluoridealert.org

Pat Sindholt/Cranbrook


By writing this letter I know that I am making myself a target. I expect to hear many negative and hurtful comments. I expect to lose some friends. But this must be said.

I attended a very interesting discussion about the need, or lack thereof, to fluoridate Cranbrook’s drinking water supply Thursday night. I was pleased to see the range of ages and the sheer number of people who attended this polite debate. As a University graduate and a student of science I find the discussion around the merit of the evidence to be the most compelling. Hearing the debate around the validity of the data and the methodology used and the interpretation of the data was for me the highlight of the evening.

A simple google search will inevitably lead to hundreds if not thousands of radical websites telling you everything from fluoride is a poison meant to kill you, to fluoride is a conspiracy to eliminate the worlds nuclear waste producers need to dispose of dangerous waste. I simply suggest reading the WHO’s paper on Water Fluoridation. They are the world authority and are non-biased.

As a practicing dentist, I all too often see children with multiple cavities who need extensive and traumatic treatment to remove or restore damaged teeth. It is heartbreaking, it is soul crushing and it is predictable. The majority of children that I see with rampant decay have one thing in common, they drink non-fluoridated water. Either they are on well water, live in a community that removed fluoride from it’s water (Kimberley) or they drink bottled water. Now, to be clear I am not saying that fluoride alone, or even combined with a good oral hygiene regimen will prevent all cavities. It is a frustrating fact that caries are multi-factoral. You need a susceptible victim, either due to genetics or poor oral hygiene. You need a caries causing biofilm, cavities are a communicable disease. And you need sugar, we consume it by the pound. What I am saying is, that for some people the simple and, as judged by the World Health Organization, safe act of adding the naturally occurring mineral Fluoride to the water you will reduce the number of susceptible victims. Not all children who drink Fluoridated water will avoid getting caries. But many will avoid that horrific fate.

I became a dentist to help people. I feel it is my moral duty to stand up for the greater good and I would be turning my back on all I believe if I were to stay silent on this issue. An issue that directly affects the lives of so many innocent children. Thank you for reading this and please remember to vote your conscience. I will.

David Burwash, DMD/Cranbrook

More research needed

This letter is in response to the letter regarding brain tumours/cancer by Pat Norton where the writer points out October is BrainTumour Awareness Month and shares some excellent points about brain tumours.

As she points out, brain cancer is extremely hard to treat, and survival rates low. The overall relative survival rate for all cancers is 63 per cebt, contrasted with the five-year relative survival rate for brain cancer of 25 per cent. We know that targeted investment in research can turn the tide, as it did with breast cancer. Today, thanks to significantly increased funding, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer has risen to 88 per cent – more than 35 per cent higher than in 1986.

The Canadian Cancer Society is currently undertaking an aggressive campaign to increase this overall cancer survival rate from 63 per cent to 80 per cent. One key strategy in attaining this goal is to fund more targeted research for hard to treat cancers – including brain. As metastatic brain tumours occur at some point in 20 – 40 per cent of people with cancer, funding research to find effective treatments of this cancer is crucial.

To this end, the Canadian Cancer Society and Brain Canada entered into a multi-year partnership to establish a joint funding platform that links neuroscience and brain cancer research. Through this, the Society is able to leverage matching funds from the Canada Brain Research Fund, a public-private partnership established by the Government of Canada, enabling more brain cancer research programs to be funded than would be possible with only donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Donations directed to brain cancer — whether they come from individuals, corporations, Relay For Life teams, or independent fundraising events — will be matched, dollar for dollar, doubling your impact against this cancer. Donors also now have the option of establishing named Catalyst Funds or Impact Grants with minimum commitments that are payable over five years. These funds and grants can be named in honor or memory of a loved and the funds directed as the donor sees fit – giving you more say in how your dollars are used. To learn more, please visit cancer.ca or contact the undersigned at 250-426-8916.

Lori Stevenson/Canadian Cancer Society

Deer concerns

Thank you Mrs. Jaster for your October 23 letter concerning deer.

This late in Council’s tenure our job is to make sure that the members of Council who are elected or re-elected on November 15 have all the tools in place to make decisions on a number of issues, including managing our urban deer population.

In order to ensure that the 2014 – 2018 Council, who will be sworn in on December 8, have options available to them, the City with Council’s approval applied for and received permission from the Province to harvest up to 50 deer between December 1, 2014 and March 15, 2015.

Between now and December 8 the City’s Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee will be undertaking another deer count to help inform the people of Cranbrook and Council what the population is now.

Your current Council has undertaken two culls in the past three years, so if harvesting deer is the definition of “showing concern for Cranbrook’s citizens” you have been well served.

Mayor Wayne Stetski/Mayor of Cranbrook