We are Canadian families who want fair and affordable online access to eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some provinces have legal restrictions that prevent families from ordering prescription eyewear online. Others let consumers choose for themselves (making eyewear shopping affordable, convenient and fair). Restricting online eyewear purchases does not make sense in the 21st Century, where we can order pretty much anything online and have it delivered. The current restrictions on online eyewear ordering stifles competition and keeps prices high.
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We live in the 21st Century. Canadians can go online and buy groceries, winter tires, tech devices, wheelchairs, medical devices and even medical marijuana.
But in Ontario, you soon may not be able to order prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses online and have them delivered to your door.
That’s because in January, an Ontario Superior Court placed an injunction on online prescription eyewear dispensing, now waiting appeal. It essentially allows only licensed optometrists and opticians to sell online, excluding dozens of firms that specialize in online dispensing that make it affordable, fair and convenient to shop for eyewear.
Millions of Canadian eyewear customers have been served through online dispensing. Licensed practitioners still examine patients and write the prescription. After that, customers can easily order contact lenses or eyeglasses online and determine the proper fit and sizing on their own. Or they have the choice of going to an optometrist or optician if they want.
British Columbia allows customers to have a choice when it comes to online eyewear purchasing. So do many other jurisdictions.
The Ontario government needs to step in and stand up for consumer choice, fairness and affordability. We are asking all Ontario political party leaders to unanimously support rapid legislative changes to protect online prescription eyeglass and contact lens sales and delivery to firms capable of delivering quality products to customers, but without the expensive bureaucracy of added oversight by licensed practitioners.
We are concerned eyewear customers that want the government to settle the uncertainty from this injunction and protect consumer choice. Have your say on how you want to buy your glasses and contacts.