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Serge Joyal

The Hon. Serge  Joyal, P.C., O.C., O.Q., B.A., LL.L., D.E.S., LL.M. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Serge Joyal represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Kennebec. He has served in the Senate of Canada since November 26, 1997.

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Charlottetown Senator Percy Downe supports Bill C-313

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Posted on 29 June 2012

Charlottetown Senator Percy Downe supports Bill C-313, legislation that would make non-corrective contact lenses – often called cosmetic contacts – subject to the requirements of the Foods and Drugs Act in the same way as corrective contact lenses.

In his speech in the Senate, Downe described the internet sale of prescription eyewear as perhaps the biggest issue facing vision care today, and drew attention to a recent study that concluded “nearly half of prescription spectacles delivered by online vendors did not meet either the optical requirements of the patient’s visual needs or the physical requirements for the patient’s safety.”

Senator Downe also spoke about the risks stemming from the increasing online sales of both cosmetic and prescription contacts and glasses, and said, “Complications, up to and including serious vision problems, that may arise from improper use, handling, and fit, are preventable provided that a professional dispenser assesses eye health and lens fit and provides training on proper use and handling of contact lenses.”

“What is Health Canada doing to protect the growing number of Canadians who choose to purchase their eyewear online, unaware of the risks that such a purchase may entail?” asked Downe. He concluded by urging the federal Minister of Health to quickly bring forward new legislation to control the online sale of both contact lenses and eyewear to protect Canadians from faulty products that may cause serious harm to their permanent eyesight.

“Canadians are purchasing these cosmetic contacts from party stores, local markets, and other locations, where buyers receive no instructions on the use and handling of the lenses, rather than from a licensed and regulated professional dispenser,” noted Senator Downe.

Essentially, Bill C-313 would ensure that Health Canada approves the product and that the proper medical device and establishment licenses are in place before the product is manufactured and distributed to retailers.


Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's speech



Letter from Senator Downe to the Minister of Health Canada, June 12, 2012
Letter to Senator Downe from the Minister of Health Canada, July 11, 2012

For further information:
Senator Percy Downe: 613-943-8107
Or toll free at 1-800-267-7362

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