Questionnaire: Purchasing Prescription Lenses in Ontario

On 5 May 2018 Canadians For Eyewear Choice wrote:

Congratulations on your candidacy. We are writing today to let you know about an urgent issue facing Ontario consumers who depend on accessing affordable eyewear online as a modern convenience and also to meet our family budgets. Buying glasses and contacts online is something Ontarians deserve but is under threat due to protectionist court action. Other provinces, such as B.C. have made the necessary regulatory changes to protect those who have come to depend on accessing glasses and contacts online and we are looking for Ontario to do the same. Please respond to the following questions. We will be publishing your position on our website and social channels:

1. Will you stand up to keep affordable eyewear available for Ontario residents?

2. Will you oppose restrictions on Ontario residents’ choice to purchase eyewear online, while the rest of Canada has the freedom to choose?

3. Do you oppose the implications of the court ruling that threatens to suppress online e-commerce in Ontario?

You may be interested in reading more about the issue as reported by CBC: Eyewear consumers blast effort to cease online sales | CBC News

We are committed to making sure online access to safe and affordable eyewear remains just a click away. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please reply by email with your response.

Dawn Dinham on behalf of over 3000 signatories of the petition at Canadians for Eyewear Choice

Hello, and thank you for your questions.

1) I am definitely in favour of keeping the cost of prescription lenses affordable.

2) Online purchasing is pervasive, and definitely something in which Ontarians want to participate. People should be able to determine for themselves how they want to acquire their prescriptions.

3) I have read the CBC article you reference. I am not a lawyer, and the article does not provide enough information for me to determine the intent or consequences of the court ruling.

I had the privilege of attending an information session with Re-Vision, where I learned that the Ontario Assistive Devices Program is not meeting the needs of Ontarians who need assistive devices to help with low or no vision. This includes prescription glasses. One of the issues raised is the restriction of “authorized distributors”, which seems similar to the restriction on purchasing prescription lenses only from an optometrist or other licensed professional.

I am very much in favour of including prescription lenses in the Green Party of Ontario’s vision of universal pharmacare, in which prescription medicine, prescription lenses, and prescription hearing aids would be covered under an expanded OHIP. This will eliminate the cost of prescription lenses for all Ontarians, even when purchased from licensed professionals in Ontario.

–Bob.

About Bob Jonkman, Green Party Candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga

Bob Jonkman is the Green Party candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga
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