Current Issues

December 11, 2013 - Ontario Attorney General replies to OAC letter re: Great Glasses
As per the October 19 post below, CLICK HERE to read the reply from the Director of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario regarding the letter sent by the OAC regarding Great Glasses.

October 19, 2013 - OAC Sends Letter to ON Attorney General re: Great Glasses

The Opticians Association of Canada sent a letter to the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario regarding Great Glasses. The concern is that the law was broken and the individual found guilty, but proceeded to hop to another jurisdiction (British Columbia) and set up the same business and even violate some of the same laws. Where is the inter-provincial communication between Attorney General offices? CLICK HERE to read the letter sent from the OAC to the ON Attorney General

April 17, 2013 - BC Ministry Response to meeting with OAC re: Pilot Project
Robert Dalton (OAC Executive Director), Zuheir Merali (OAC - BC Representative) and Kim McEachern (OAC - BC Chapter Administrator) met with the BC Minister of Social Development on April 9th to discuss Vision Care for residents of British Columbia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Ministry of Social Development’s pilot program for the online retailing of eye care products.

The OAC provided a 'Leave Behind' postcard, in which the ministry promised to address the questions and concerns mentioned on the postcard within 24-72 hours. 
CLICK HERE to view the response received from the BC Ministry of Social Development today.

March 20, 2013 - Ministry Responds to OAC Concerns
On February 18, 2013, the OAC sent a letter to the Minister of Social Development regarding the pilot program that will give individuals and families on income and disability assistance the option to purchase eyeglasses online and have the claims submitted to Pacific Blue Cross for payment on behalf of the ministry.

The OAC expressed concern that the ministry has undervalued the service provided by Opticians and perhaps does not fully comprehend the amount of follow up care required by the community.


(See posting below to read the letter sent from the OAC to the Minister of Social Development)

February 18, 2013 - OAC Expresses Concern to BC Ministry
“Effective early March, the Ministry of Social Development will be launching a pilot program that will give
individuals and families on income and disability assistance the option to purchase eyeglasses online and
have the claims submitted to Pacific Blue Cross for payment on behalf of the ministry. Upon the completion of the pilot, the opportunity to participate as a supplier will be extended to other online eyewear companies provided they meet government criteria for providing services.”

The OAC believes that the ministry has undervalued the service provided by Opticians and perhaps does not fully comprehend the amount of follow up care required by the community.

CLICK HERE to read the letter sent by the OAC to the Minister of Social Development


December 21, 2012 - Non-Corrective Contact Lenses Become Medical Devices
Les lentilles cornéennes non correctrices deviennent des matériels médicaux

PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release
Non-Corrective Contact Lenses Become Medical Devices
Bill C-313 has received royal assent

COMMUNIQUÉ - Diffusion immédiate
Les lentilles cornéennes non correctrices deviennent des matériels médicaux
Le projet de loi C-313 a reçu la sanction royale

Ottawa, December 17, 2012 – The eye health professions are pleased to announce that Bill C-313 – An Act to amend the Food and Drug Act received royal assent on Friday.  The bill places federal regulatory controls on the distribution and sales of non-corrective contact lenses.
Ottawa, le 17 décembre 2012 – Les professions de la santé oculovisuelle se réjouissent d’annoncer que le Projet de loi C-313, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les aliments et drogues, a reçu la sanction royale vendredi. Le projet de loi impose des mesures fédérales de réglementation de la distribution et de la vente des lentilles cornéennes non correctrices.


May 31, 2012 - OAC Climbs the Hill

Representatives from the Opticians Association of Canada are meeting with Senators and members of Parliament in Ottawa. Dalie Schellen (PEI Optician) - President of the OAC; Lorne Kashin (ON Optician) - Vice President of the OAC; Janice Schmidt (ON Optician) - OAC Advisor; Marc Cossette (QC Optician) and Robert Dalton (NS Optician) - Executive Director of the OAC, are meeting with Senators and MPs along with representatives from the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Association of Optometrists to discuss Bill C-313 (An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act, Non-Corrective Contact Lenses).

The three groups will be talking with Senators and MPs about the importance of Vision Health and the health risks involved with the continuation of non-corrective contact lenses being unregulated in Canada.

According to Health Canada's own study entitled 'Human Health Risk Assessment of Cosmetic Contact Lenses' (September 2003). This report concludes by stating "...Health Canada may wish to consider placing restrictions on the manner in which these products are sold to the consumer such as requiring prescriptions for their use and/or restricting their sale to regulated eye-care professionals."

Watch the OAC Facebook page and Twitter for an immediate update upon conclusion of the meeting.

April 25, 2012 - Great Glasses eye tests illegal: critics (Cornelia Naylor, Vancouver Sun)

Local opticians oppose B.C. store opened by businessman who was fined, jailed in Ontario

An ex-Ontario optician who was fined $17 million for contempt of court, served one year in jail and was stripped of his Ontario optician’s licence for repeatedly flouting that province’s health legislation has set up shop in Chilliwack.

February 24, 2012 - Cost of prescription glasses fuelling online purchases (JULIE DEARDORFF, Chicago Tribune)

Armed with a prescription and some patience, consumers can save hundreds of dollars — and maybe some time — by buying eyeglasses online.

For most, the major concerns are cosmetic ones. But an important risk is often overlooked: the quality and safety of the lenses.

Researchers found that nearly half of prescription glasses they bought online either contained the wrong lenses or didn't meet the standards for impact testing, meaning the lens can crack or shatter, according to a small study published last year in the journal Optometry.  READ MORE

November 1, 2011 - Minister backs bill to regulate cosmetic contact lenses

OTTAWA — Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is getting behind legislation to regulate cosmetic contact lenses as medical devices — almost guaranteeing the bill's passage into law.

Conservative MP Pat Davidson won the high-profile backing for her private member's bill Monday, after opposition MPs stood in the House of Commons to also voice support for amending Canada's Food and Drugs Act to treat non-correction cosmetic contact lenses just like corrective contact lenses.

Cosmetic contact lenses, also called fashion contact lenses or colour contact lenses, are unregulated in Canada. That means Twilight vampire eyes and other colour contact lens can be sold over-the-counter by street vendors, convenience stores and Halloween stores. READ MORE

October 28, 2011 - Online Orders Not Meeting Requirements of Patient's Needs or Safety

Safety and compliance of prescription spectacles ordered by the public via the Internet - This study investigated prescription spectacles ordered from online vendors and delivered directly to the public for compliance with the optical tolerance and impact resistance requirements for eyewear dispensed in the United States.



 Winnipeg (Manitoba), September 28, 2011 – The Opticians Association of Canada (OAC), has instituted action in the Federal Court of Canada against Breton Communications Inc. (Breton), which published, until April 2011, the OAC’s VISION and LA REVUE magazines. The OAC’s action alleges passing-off, trade-mark and copyright infringement by Breton and claims damages. READ MORE

September 26, 2011 - New York Girl Loses Sight After Buying Illegal Contacts

A New York girl needs a cornea transplant after she illegally purchased a pair of colored contacts at a local beauty store, reported.

Read More on            View the video at

July 3, 2010 - Update on Great Glasses Court Case - Bergez and wife guilty of contempt... READ MORE

July 2, 2010 - Update on Great Glasses Court Case - Great Glasses owner guilty of contempt... READ MORE 

June 30, 2010 - Update on Great Glasses Court Case - Prescription law unclear, Bergez tells judge... READ MORE

June 29, 2010 -  Great Glasses Owner Back in Court today ...

May 6, 2010 - Incident Report - The OAC’s Internet Committee is gathering statistics on consumer problems evolving from the purchase of eyeglasses and contact lenses via the Internet.  Download this form to report problems you have resolved.  Photocopy the form for multiple reports.

October 23, 2009 - Opticians Council of Canada Warns Against Purchasing Cosmetic Contact Lenses From A Non-Licensed Professional - When it comes to Halloween safety, parents may consider their kids' costumes and whether to attach reflectors, checking candy is appropriately wrapped and safe to eat, but what about their eyes?

October 23, 2009 - October Is Eye Health Month - Did you know that 1 in 6 children have a vision problem that could lead to learning disabilities?

August 25, 2009 - Letter from OAC to College of Opticians of Ontario re: Great Glasses

October 29, 2008 - Disciplinary hearing for optician- Great Glasses founder faces allegations of professional misconduct
Hamilton Spectator - Hamilton,ON,Canada

A Dundas optician's cross-examination of a former customer during a disciplinary hearing yesterday inadvertently raised the possibility that at least one Great Glasses store was engaged in questionable insurance claim practices.... READ MORE

Posted October 29, 2008 - Company sets sights on total eye care   London Free Press - Canada

In a blink, London has become part of the latest eye- care trend.  Iris, the Visual Group -- the largest eye-care provider in Canada -- has opened a clinic in southwest London that employs optometrists, opticians and opthalmologists.... READ MORE

Posted October 14, 2008 -  Court rejects Great Glasses appeal bid. Panel upholds contempt fine of at least $34m.

Posted October 1, 2008 - York Region District School Board Announces Success of Markham School Readiness Project
The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) will be joined by Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Markham MPP Michael Chan on Tuesday, September 30 at 9:30 a.m. at Wilclay Public School in Markham to celebrate the completion of its first school readiness screening project and the preliminary results.

Over 1,200 junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten children at 11 Markham area schools participated in a month-long screening of vision, oral health and nutrition to identify deficiencies or need for referrals.... READ MORE

Posted June 28, 2008 -  Screen Time Among Canadian Adults
This study was done as sedentary habits relate to obesity.  It includes statistics on demographics that watch television and spend time at computers.  Consequently it can just as easily be used to determine which of the two mediums you could use for advertising to your target market.

Posted May 22, 2008 - Practice Trends - Who gave the Internet a License to Practice?
Internet sales of contact lenses are by now a fact of life in the optical marketplace. And now consumers are able to make Internet purchases of eyeglasses. Optical professionals continue to ask themselves how this is allowed to persist? CLICK HERE to Read More.

Posted March 18, 2008 - Regulation of Non-Correction, Cosmetic Contact Lenses Approved in Parliament
The Opticians Association of Canada announces the following motion to regulate, which was passed in the House
of Commons in Ottawa on March 10, 2008. This motion affects the sale of non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses.
For more information, CLICK HERE

Posted January 9, 2008 - Lucentis - A Treatment That Is Sight-Saving For Many People With Wet AMD
CNIB has launched a campaign regarding access to a new treatment for Age Related Macular Degeneration.
For more information, CLICK HERE

Posted December 6, 2007 - Ministry of Health - For Immediate Release

WHAT WE HEARD: BRITISH COLUMBIANS ON HEALTH- VICTORIA – The Province has released a summary of the input received from thousands of British Columbians during the year-long Conversation on Health. These comments, ideas and suggestions will assist government in making decisions about the next steps towards the renewal and sustainability of the public health system.

Posted October 29, 2007 - The College of Opticians of Ontario (COO) on October 24, 2007 published its Standard of Practice for Refractometry. In a letter to the President of the Opticians Association of Canada the COO has stated "...the Council is convinced that it is in the public interest to allow those Opticians who have demonstrated their competency to do so to refract, thereby enhancing the public's access to an important health care service as well as enhancing the public's choice among alternate provider of the service."

For More Information, click on the following links:
Letter to OAC President
Thematic Report
Patient Consent Form
Standard of Practice

Posted August 4, 2007 - College of Opticians of British Columbia files injunction against Coastal Contacts Ltd. and Clearly Contacts Ltd. for the illegal sale of contact lenses over the Internet. To read more click here.

Posted July 24, 2007 - From time to time the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) has received complaints from Canadian Opticians who have been denied access to purchase certain products and believe this denial represents an unwarranted breech of the Competition Act. As advocates for opticians the OAC has consequently followed up on each complaint with both the wholesale company involved and with the Competition Bureau. You may find the following information a valuable resource should you believe that you have faced or are facing similar anti-competitive practices.

(Taken from the Competition Bureau website) "Did You Know That, As a Businessperson: your suppliers can suggest resale prices, but cannot prevent you from charging less? your suppliers are not allowed to refuse to deal with you, or to discriminate against you, because of your low prices? your suppliers or competitors are not allowed to try to get you to raise your prices, or to try to discourage you from lowering your prices? These practices are called price maintenance and are illegal under the Competition Act."

To find out more about how Price Maintenance click here
To find out more about Refusal to Supply click here

April 7, 2006 - Beware Contact Lens Fungus   ORLANDO, Fla — Alison Bregman-Rodriguez felt as if lightning had struck her right eye, or someone had pulled skin out of it. For almost a month she could not work, drive or watch television. "I'd never felt so much pain," the 30-year-old said. It was not until much later that the social worker finally learned she had a fungal eye infection, a hard-to-treat condition that can cause blindness.  Read more...

July 19, 2005 - Missing Eyeglasses Blur Life for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Newswise — One in three nursing home residents who have Alzheimer’s disease are not getting their vision corrected so they can see clearly, according to new Saint Louis University research in the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Read more...

July 13, 2005 - Vision Quest - Why we wear our sunglasses at night
I've never owned a pair of sunglasses—shades, if you prefer. Not because I dislike them, but because if you are as seriously myopic as I am, any filter that blocks light, however bright, reminds you of your poor sight. I could wear contact lenses and buy whatever shades I desire. Read more...

July 8, 2005 - Retina Adapts By Suppressing The Commonplace
The retina actively seeks novel features in the visual environment, dynamically adjusting its processing in order to seek the unusual while ignoring the commonplace, say researchers at Harvard University. Read more...

July 7, 2005 - OphthoCare Eyeglasses for Lazy Eye Syndrome
The Globes [online] is reporting that an Israeli company OphthoCare yesterday obtained FDA approval to market in the US its electronic eyeglasses, for treating lazy eye syndrome (amblyopia) in children. Read more...


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