Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology
Issue 27 - Evidence - November 29, 2012
OTTAWA, Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, to
which was referred Bill C-313, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act
(non-corrective contact lenses), met this day at 10:29 a.m. to give
consideration to the bill.
Senator Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Honourable senators, I declare the meeting in session.
Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
I am Kelvin Ogilvie, a senator from Nova Scotia and chair of the committee. I
will ask my colleagues to introduce themselves.
Senator Seidman: Judith Seidman from Montreal, Quebec.
Senator Eaton: Nicole Eaton, Toronto.
Senator Enverga: Tobias Enverga, a senator from Ontario.
Senator Cordy: I am Jane Cordy from Nova Scotia.
Senator Munson: I am Jim Munson, senator from Ontario, but I have to
say my heart is in New Brunswick.
Senator Merchant: Good morning. I am Pana Merchant from Saskatchewan.
The Chair: Thank you colleagues.
I am calling on you to deal today with the agenda that has Bill C-313, An Act
to amend the Food and Drugs Act (non-corrective contact lenses). We have two
sessions. The second session will begin to later than 11:30. Is that agreed?
Thank you, colleagues.
I will now invite our witnesses to present in the order that I introduce
them, beginning with Tushar Mehta, Operations Manager, Camden Passage Inc.
Tushar Mehta, Operations Manager, Camden Passage Inc.: Thank you for
giving me the opportunity to appear before the distinguished committee on behalf
of Camden Passage in reference to Bill C-313.
As a Canadian distributer of cosmetic eye accessories, we welcome the
regulation of non-corrective contact lenses under the Food and Drugs Act to
ensure that only the products of the highest level of quality and safety are
sold in Canada. We believe that all purely cosmetic contacts sold on the
Canadian market should be made of the best quality materials in proper
production facilities, appropriately packaged, labelled and in compliance with
all sterility requirements. It is for this reason that Camden Passage's products
are manufactured under the most stringent conditions in the United Kingdom by a
leading manufacturing facility and meet all applicable ISO standards.
It must be noted that Camden Passage Inc. is the distributer in Canada for
EDIT, a manufacturer and supplier of high-quality accessories on a multinational
basis. EDIT has supplied in excess of 4 million such accessories and over 10
million accessories in total since 1998.
Camden Passage Inc. has sold 180,000 pairs in under two years. It appreciates
that the products are relied upon by so many consumers and recognizes the value
of maintaining and protecting its good reputation. As I said, EDIT manufactures
the accessories to the highest possible standards. To operate any in other way
would have serious commercial consequences. We would not distribute inferior or
substandard product, which generally comes from Asian sources.
That being said, I would like to address certain concerns and health risks
relating to this proposed bill. We believe the proposed legislation does not
address the actual health concerns created by the use of cosmetic eye
accessories. To be clear, this product is sometimes called ``cosmetic contact
lenses,'' although that is a misnomer as these lenses do not refract or bend
light. Their sole purpose is cosmetic. They shade the eye colour or serve a
theatrical purpose. Indeed, many of our sales are to the theatrics community and
It should be noted that these health risks are fundamentally the same as
those caused by any product used in or near the eye. Users may injure themselves
if they do not take proper care or follow product instructions in the use of
this or any product, and classifying this as a medical device does not address
As the medical evidence demonstrates, the health risks associated with these
products are not increased by the manufacture of the products themselves. In
every recorded case, the health risks are related to user error. Examples in the
literature of ocular disorders due to purely cosmetic products abound. Reports
also exist for eye injury caused by nail extensions commonly used by women who
apply false eyelashes or makeup while wearing them. Eyebrow piercings are also
problematic and essentially unregulated.
As well, other products used near the eye that are also associated with
adverse effects are detailed in many studies, which refer to such products as
mascara, eyeshadow and dye for tinting of lashes and brows.
This brings me to my second point. To the extent that the proposed new
classification of these products as medical devices would persuade the provinces
to impose the requirement that they be sold by prescription by eye care
practitioners, it will not address risks to the public. In fact, such a result
will ultimately produce a harmful, unintended consequence, which in our opinion
will far outweigh any good achieved by Bill C-313.
I submit to you today, honourable senators, that the inevitable consequence
is that when a product is made unavailable at an affordable price in Canada,
which would be the case as a result of these regulatory changes — going from
approximately $25 to $35 a pair to over $100 for the same products, as well as
the eye care practitioner's dispensing fee — consumers will no longer purchase
in Canada. They will be driven to the Internet where they can obtain coloured
contacts at a fraction of the increased cost from Asian sources that are not of
the same quality as our ISO product standards. There will be problems with the
materials used, manufacturing defects and few or entirely absent instructions,
rather than the very finest quality European-based manufacturers such EDIT.
In other words, the unintended consequence of this regulatory action will be
the creation of a booming grey market where the consumers in Canada will vote
with their mouse, purchase inferior product from the Orient and have it
delivered to Canada.
The medical literature is filled with unjustified claims that should the
products be sold through a health care professional, the risks to the public
would be reduced. However, this is a conclusion based only on assertion. There
is no study that demonstrates an increase in public safety results from such a
measure. In fact, the evidence provided in the literature tends to demonstrate
the opposite: The true cause of concern is the lack of consumer adherence to
instructions. The assertion that a consumer will follow instructions better if
they are given by an eye care practitioner is just an assertion. There is no
proof, and the actual evidence tends to demonstrate the opposite.
The Chair: I will have to ask you to speed up. You are exceeding your
Mr. Mehta: I will skip a little bit. Moreover, there are many other
products used around the eye that place the public at risk. It would be quite
absurd to classify all of these as medical devices or require that they be
purchased from eye care practitioners. To do so, we believe, would lead to
unintended consequences and open the door to the sales of unregulated,
poor-quality lenses through other means. While the federal regulatory
authorities have no jurisdiction over whether these products require
prescription for purchase — being a provincial matter — it is clear that the
move to classify them as medical devices is inspired by the notion that the
provinces should require that they be purchased with the intervention of an
optometrist or ophthalmologist. That will certainly create an underground market
in Canada as result of the restrictive regulatory regime, and that would then
create real risks for Canadian consumers.
A reasonable solution may be to permit the sale of these products at cosmetic
counters of pharmacies and department stores where the sales staff are trained
in the use of the products they sell, and where Camden Passage Inc. can add
value with the product training materials for retailers.
Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to present, and I look
forward to addressing any questions or issues you may raise.
The Chair: I will turn to Dr. Lillian Linton, President, Canadian
Association of Optometrists.
Dr. Lillian Linton, President, Canadian Association of Optometrists:
We would like to thank the committee for allowing us to appear in support of
Bill C-313 to classify non-corrective contact lenses as medical devices. We
would like to express our appreciation to Senator Duffy for sponsoring this bill
in the Senate and to Patricia Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton,
for bringing this important issue forward to the attention of the House of
Commons and to all Canadians.
While I am the president of the Canadian Association of Optometrists, CAO, I
am here speaking on behalf of the eye health profession, which includes 5,000
optometrists, 6,500 opticians and 1,300 ophthalmologists.
For the past 12 years, our professions have together been advocating for
commonsensical legislation that classifies non-corrective contact lenses the
same as corrective contact lenses.
I say ``commonsensical'' because there is literally no difference in the
manner corrective and non-corrective contact lenses interact with the eyeball.
Regardless of whether the refractive correction is plano, which is 0, or -2.75,
the eye health risks are the same and the potential complications
indistinguishable, and the safeguards in place should be identical.
These safeguards start with the medical device classification for
non-corrective contact lenses and should extend to regulations at the provincial
and territorial level to ensure the same regulatory environment that exists for
corrective contact lenses also applies to contact lenses for purely aesthetic
We sit here today and have been on this road for the past 12 years because
the wording in the Food and Drugs Act that defines a device has been deemed to
not apply to non-corrective contact lenses. According to the Food and Drugs Act,
a device is something that is used in ``restoring, correcting or modifying a
body function.'' Whereas a corrective contact lens corrects a refractive error,
a non-corrective contact lens does not restore or correct a body function. An
argument has been made that they do modify a body function when they alter eye
colour, restrict vision and, most important, restrict oxygen flow to the cornea.
However, that argument has not led to their inclusion, and therefore we pursue
legislation that Bill C-313 proposes to specifically classify non-corrective
contact lenses as a medical device.
Our reason for pursuing this legislative change is simple: Contact lenses are
medical devices, for good reason. There is risk of harm associated with placing
a device in direct contact with one of the most delicate and sensitive organs of
the human body, the eye. In this context, there is literally no difference
between contact lenses that correct vision and those that provide purely
aesthetic changes, such as non-corrective contact lenses.
All eye health professions assert that the risks for eye problems associated
with non-corrective contact lens use, potentially as serious as vision loss, are
higher than they are for corrective contact lenses due to the absence of
regulations for these items. Without an eye care professional involved in the
process of determining fit and counselling on the use and care, risk of harm
A study from France identified a 12.5 per cent increased risk of eye
infections with non-corrective contact lens wearers than those who use
corrective contact lenses. The primary difference is cited as the lack of proper
use and care instructions received at the dispensing location and the
vulnerability, youth and inexperience with contact lenses of those who are most
likely to wear the non-corrective contact lenses. The study further identified
that people wearing non-corrective contact lenses have more severe lens-related
While the majority of contact lens-related complications arise from improper
use and care, a U.S. study found that consumers who bought contact lenses from a
source other than their eye care practitioner were less likely to comply with
good eye care health practices. This study referred to people with experience
with contact lenses, and in the U.S., 50 per cent of non-corrective contact lens
wearers are first-time contact lens users.
When fitting contact lenses, a regulated professional assesses eye health and
lens fit on the cornea and provides training on proper use and handling of the
lenses. We measure the base curve of the cornea and recommend contact lenses
that have a corresponding base curve typically between 8 and 9.6 millimetres.
There is no such thing as one-size- fits-all contact lenses.
In the case of non-corrective contact lenses, they are sold with no options
for varying base curves. Inserting a contact lens on to the cornea without the
proper base curve or in individuals with aggravating complications, those that
are susceptible to eye infections, severe allergies, dry eye, can lead to eye
complications such corneal abrasions, scarring and infection.
Placing a lens on the cornea affects the cornea's ability to obtain oxygen.
This is important because the eye is the only organ in the human body that
receives its oxygen supply directly from the external environment. Lack of
oxygen, lens fit and lens type are important factors to ensure the cornea is
receiving the oxygen it needs to be healthy. Individuals who are not assessed
and fitted properly are at risk for eye damage.
Non-corrective contact lenses are particularly appealing to our youth, which
are the major target for these products. This is a market segment that is prone
to risk taking. The risks associated with the use of non-corrective contact
lenses can be minimized with professional oversight and counselling on the fit,
use and care of these products by regulated and knowledgeable professionals.
A medical device classification for these products is the first step to
achieving a regulatory environment that reduces the risks associated with
non-corrective contact lens use. A classification of non-corrective contact
lenses as a medical device will ensure all manufacturers are held to a common
standard in certifying quality and safety standards are observed and the
reporting and labelling requirements are followed. A medical device
classification provides retailers with confidence that distributers with an
establishment licence must provide the labelling requirements and use and care
instructions for their customers that are consistent with medical device
The requirement for manufacturers and distributors to apply for medical
device and establishment licenses is not overly onerous. They currently do it
for selling products in the U.K. and the U.S. They will have to do it very soon,
if not already, for sales in China, Japan, France and New Zealand, to name
It is the hopes of those professionals that are regulated and trained in
visual device dispensing and the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care of
eye health that the requirements articulated in the medical device regulations
will apply to non-corrective contact lenses in Canada as well.
Bill C-313 is a common-sense initiative that aligns all contact lenses in the
same federal regulatory environment. Bill C-313 makes sense from a vision health
perspective and a consumer protection perspective and is justified based on the
concerns and actions already taken and being pursued by governments around the
world. Optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians urge the federal government
to place non-corrective contact lenses under the same federal regulations that
currently exist for corrective contact lenses.
I would like to once again thank the committee for allowing us to be here
today, for their support of Bill C-313 and their awareness of vision health as
an increasingly significant consumer health risk.
The Chair: Thank you. I will now turn to honourable senators for
Senator Munson: Here you are, both of you, sitting side by side with
different point of views. Has either side ever had a conversation or been
invited to have this conversation?
Mr. Mehta: We have not ever been contacted by the Canadian Association
of Optometrists. A number of our customers have been contacted, and there have
been almost scare tactics on the product.
Senator Munson: I am sorry?
Mr. Mehta: They relate that our product is unsafe, which is untrue,
from our sales history. We would welcome working together with the optometrists
to ensure safe products for Canadian consumers and products that would meet the
labelling and packaging requirements.
Dr. Linton: It is not a matter of packaging. The problem is that
fitting a non-corrective contact lens is the same as fitting a corrective
contact lens. We believe that without a fit it will not matter what the
Mr. Mehta: On that point, the product that we are currently marketing
in Canada is an occasional-wear product, typically for a couple of hours a day.
We have had no adverse reports on the use of our product.
Senator Munson: Dr. Linton, what is wrong with keeping the status quo?
I have not heard much about this. We heard about the debate in the house and so
on, but what in your estimation is wrong with keeping the situation as it stands
When we buy glasses, we can go to our local eye doctor to get a prescription
and get it all done, but it seems to me large number of people go to Asia and do
Dr. Linton: We are not talking about eyeglasses.
Senator Munson: I know, but that is another important issue in terms
of dealing with the safety of our eyes or health.
The Chair: Please stick to the topic as it relates to the lens.
Senator Munson: As it relates to the safety aspect of it all.
Dr. Linton: The problem as it relates to a non-corrective contact lens
is that you are still putting it on the eye. They are one base curve; they are
not one-size-fits-all. It is how the lens interacts with the eye. If the lens is
too tight, it can cause damage. If it decreases the amount of oxygen to the eye,
it can cause damage.
Senator Munson: Mr. Mehta, I think you said in your statement that in
every recorded case, the health risks are related to user error. What do you
mean by that? Do we have cases of people in this country?
I assume it is young men and women mostly who would wear these non-corrective
contact lenses. Do we have any statistics that show that there have been some
serious issues wearing these non-corrective contact lenses?
Mr. Mehta: No, we do not.
Dr. Linton: We have incident reports that have come across from CAO.
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society has also reported incidents. We have
received incidents, and 17 per cent of the incidents that have been reported are
related to Internet-based eyewear.
Senator Munson: I know my colleagues have many questions —
Mr. Mehta: That would be correct, and you are driving more consumers
to the Internet by restricting the product sale in Canada.
Senator Munson: It would seem to me, just from a preliminary look at
this, that young consumers are already on the Internet. I do not know about
driving them to the Internet to obtain these.
Mr. Mehta: You are driving them to obtain these products there as
opposed to purchasing them in a controlled environment from a responsible
Senator Munson: I have many questions on this issue.
The Chair: Can I put you on the second round?
Senator Munson: Yes, I want to be fair to the other senators.
Senator Seidman: I would like to go to a statement that Dr. Linton
made and have your reaction to it, Mr. Mehta.
Dr. Linton said that this is a common-sense piece of legislation because
there is literally no difference in the manner in which corrective and
non-corrective contact lenses interact with the eyeball.
Thinking of the logic — if this is common sense — why would non-corrective
contact lenses be classified independently from corrective lenses if they
interact with the eyeball in the very same way?
Mr. Mehta: The assertion Dr. Linton and the eye practitioners are
making is that the product is unsafe because of the way it is prescribed, or
not, untrained for the user.
However, by the literature we have reviewed, 50 per cent of users of contact
lenses who have purchased the product from an eye care practitioner have had
adverse conditions or effects. The risk is not inherent in the product itself.
It is inherent in the usage of the product.
Let us also say that all of Dr. Linton's assertions are correct; let us
assume she is right. How does she respond to the grey market, which will be
worse than the current status quo?
Senator Seidman: Let me put it back to you. At least from what I
heard, Dr. Linton in her statement said very clearly to me and to all of us
sitting here that there is no difference in the manner corrective and
non-corrective contact lenses interact with the eyeball. I think the basic issue
here is that the eyeball is at risk of lack of oxygen and other things with the
use of contact lenses, whether they are corrective or non-corrective. That is
the way I have understood what she said.
As far as your statement on the grey market, I would like to ask you whether
you think that individuals do indeed have to take responsibility for their own
actions. A government can try to protect Canadians as best they can through
legislation. I think that is the government's responsibility. However, if
individuals want to go on the Internet and do things that can harm them, that is
Mr. Mehta: The concern here would be driving more individuals to
purchase an unlicensed product or a product of poor quality from the Internet.
With respect to your question on the contact lenses, I would like to direct that
to Dr. Allan West, who can answer the question in more detail.
The Chair: He is not part of the witness list; it has not been agreed
to. You are the president and CEO of the company. You must understand the nature
of your business, so please answer the questions.
Senator Seidman: Are there cost implications for your business, Mr.
Mehta, if non-corrective contact lenses are regulated as medical devices?
Mr. Mehta: My business, Camden Passage, is purely an importer and
distributer. We sell many products on the Canadian market, of which a percentage
of our product base is cosmetic products. We strongly believe in the products we
sell and are happy to sell this type of product in the pharmacies, drugstores
and fashion stores. It is a product we enjoy selling.
There might be a financial consequence, to a degree, but it could be any
product we could sell tomorrow.
Senator Merchant: Thank you very much. Welcome to both of you. I think
this is a novel kind of idea. However, I also think from both of your points of
view, am I correct to say that money comes into play for both of you? You may
lose some sales.
However, I would think that if these devices are regulated, you said — and I
do not know if the doctor agrees with it — that these same products will
increase in price. It is the same identical things, because she is not saying we
should buy something different, just that these devices should be dispensed by
ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians. I do not know what training
opticians have that is medical.
However, would you agree, Dr. Linton, that the cost of these very same lenses
will go up, or will it stay the same for the consumer?
Dr. Linton: The actual product cost will not go up. There is a fitting
fee that is associated. The bottom line is whether it is worth ensuring that we
have children, teens and whomever with proper fittings. Yes, I think that is a
price that is very much worth it. It will cost the system far more if we do not
get this under control.
Senator Merchant: Have other countries regulated these devices?
Dr. Linton: Yes, the U.S. and the U.K. have already, and other
countries are looking into regulating it, as well.
Senator Merchant: Will there be penalties for people who go to the
Internet and buy these devices and damage their eyes? How will this work?
The Chair: Perhaps you can hold that question.
Senator Merchant: Yes, I should hold that. I will leave it at that.
Senator Cordy: I want to go back to Senator Munson's comments about
the Internet. I would think the purchasers of cosmetic lenses would be young
adults, for the most part. They are the ones who are most likely to use the
Internet for purchasing any product, whether it is eyeglasses, as Senator Munson
said, or music or whatever it is.
Will this drive substantial numbers of young people to purchase online where
it will be much cheaper, and what will be the ramifications of that? I think you
are both saying that the product itself is not the problem; it is the misuse of
Dr. Linton: It is not only the misuse. Complications can arise from
the product not being fitted, as well. I think it is important to look back.
In September 2003, Health Canada did its own study entitled Human Health
Risk Assessment of Cosmetic Contact Lenses, which indicated there was no
difference between corrective and non-corrective contact lenses in the manner
they interact with the eye. The 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 the use and/or restricting their sale to regulated
Mr. Mehta: For the products we bring to the market, the manufacturers
have produced and sold over 10 million pairs worldwide. It is a very safe
product we bring to the market, and we cannot comment on the manufacturing
quality, materials or dyes used in offshore sources.
We strongly believe that no teen is going to see an optician for a $60 to $80
dispensing fee to purchase the product; they will go online. It will cause
problems for our youth, as opposed to having the product available in Canada at
a reasonable price through responsible importers and retailers.
Senator Cordy: I am not sure how we can monitor what is sold online,
but it is an issue that must be brought up.
Mr. Mehta: It is impossible.
Senator Cordy: What studies of public safety have been done regarding
cosmetic lenses? Have studies been done?
Mr. Mehta: We have studies on contact lenses that show that the risks
exist based on not following instructions.
We have studies that show there are damaging consequences from the use of
mascara and eyeshadow —
The Chair: Let us stick to contact lenses.
Mr. Mehta: These are all products that work within the ocular area and
will have the same consequence to a user. You can get bacteria from these
products, and consumers have had eye infections from the use of other ocular
Dr. Linton: The key point is that there is still the fit. If the
contact lens does not fit, there will be more complications. Our biggest concern
is the fit of the contact lens. They are not one-size-fits-all.
The Chair: Let us clarify the term ``one-size-fits-all.'' I think you
are implying that the cosmetic lens is a one size.
Dr. Linton: Exactly.
The Chair: Thank you. You are saying the cosmetic lens is one size,
whereas in the normal lens —
Dr. Linton: The normal lenses come in different base curves, and
whether you have a flat or deep base curve determines the fit. If the contact
lens does not move, it does not receive oxygen supply and the tear exchange.
There are many factors; there is more than one thing involved in the fit of the
The Chair: I wanted to correct that because the way you used the term
caused some confusion.
Mr. Mehta: If a consumer finds it uncomfortable, they would take it
out. It is not for vision. It is purely for cosmetic or theatrical use.
Senator Eaton: I wear contact lenses, but the curve is different for
everyone's eye so it is not one-size-fits-all.
Dr. Linton: It is not.
The Chair: In the prescription it is not, but the cosmetics are one
Dr. Linton: Yes, they are one size.
Senator Martin: Thank you. Mr. Mehta when you talk about the risks
that are involved in prescription contacts and 50 per cent of users face
complications, I would think the same statistics could potentially apply, but I
will not imply what the statistics may be for non-prescription contacts or
cosmetic contacts. However, my question is this: We are doing a study on
post-approval prescription drugs and collecting data for adverse effects. I am
curious what mechanism, whether it is with your retailers or on your own
website, is used for how that data may be collected. If consumers are facing
complications with their eyes, they would not tell you per se. They would go to
clinics and optometrists. The data they would have would be reflective of the
industry. Do you follow up with your clients as to how it is fitting? How would
you collect that data? Is there a mechanism?
Mr. Mehta: The mechanism we have in place is that if a consumer finds
the product uncomfortable, they contact us. The immediate reaction for any
consumer purchasing a product they are unhappy with would be to contact the
responsible party. We have had a 15 such cases in the last two years. We have
asked the consumers to refrain from using the product and to visit an eye care
practitioner, and we have refunded them for the product.
Senator Martin: Dr. Linton, you say that you and some of your members
have patients come in?
Dr. Linton: I am not sure whether they come from Camden Passage Inc.,
but I assure you that I have patients who have come in to my office who have
been wearing these cosmetic contact lenses and they have complications. They
come in one base curve. Nothing is taken into consideration for what they need
for their eye health when they are buying them online. The factor we are talking
about is eye health. We are not talking about price. Is that price too high to
pay? I believe it is.
Senator Martin: I have a question, but I think I will have to ask you
separately because it is not directly related.
Mr. Mehta: The literature we have reviewed is the risk to the consumer
in the use of the product, not to the fit of the lens. It is mainly the
post-purchase misuse and not following the instructions.
Senator Seth: Thank you for the knowledge. Non-corrective lenses can
be ordered without prescription on the Internet?
Dr. Linton: Exactly.
Senator Seth: That means a patient or person has not been seen and it
is just for a cosmetic purpose. Okay. How will you stop that?
What is the difference between corrective and non-corrective contact lenses?
Do we have the complications, statistically? What are the complications we get
with the non-corrective contact lenses and the corrective lenses? Do we have
data to prove why we should be using non-corrective contact lenses? Do we have
that to prove?
Dr. Linton: We have statistics that tell us that people who are using
non-corrective contact lenses are more likely to have problems because they are
first-time wearers. They have not been fitted with contact lenses. There are
complications with corrective contact lenses, but increased complications with
non-corrective contact lenses.
Senator Seth: Do you see more patients in your office who have been
using non-corrective contact lenses?
Dr. Linton: We find there are increased complications from
non-corrective contact lenses.
Senator Seth: The reason you have given is because of the oxygen
supply to the cornea and all of those things.
Dr. Linton: Exactly.
Senator Seth: How will we stop that? Even having this bill —
Dr. Linton: It will be a first step. There is no difference in a
non-corrective contact lens use versus a corrective contact lens use; the way
they fit the eye is the problem. You will have complications from the corrective
contacts, but increased from non-corrective contact lenses because they have not
Senator Seth: How has the Food and Drugs Act allowed this to happen?
Dr. Linton: It is unfortunate, and that is why we have brought it to
Mr. Mehta: I would like to add that I have not seen any such research
or literature noting the difference between the two products, and I would be
very happy to review the statistics or evidence if it exists.
Dr. Linton: I can tell you that I am grassroots and I see these
patients every day.
Mr. Mehta: However, the difference in the number of incidences —
The Chair: We will not get into a debate between the two of you. Thank
Senator Eaton: Dr. Linton, if this bill passes and non-cosmetic
contact lenses become medical devices, it means a person must go and have them
fitted properly. Is that correct? In the case of non-corrective contact lenses
they are sold with no options for varying base curves.
Dr. Linton: Exactly.
Senator Eaton: Inserting a contact lens into the cornea without the
proper base curve or in individuals with aggravating complications can lead to
In other words, if I want to have non-corrective lenses, I will go to a
proper optometrist and get them fitted, just the way I would for glasses or
corrective contact lenses. Is that what you are saying?
Dr. Linton: I am saying that you would go there first. There will be
cases where you cannot wear non-corrective lenses.
Senator Eaton: I will go to an optometrist?
Dr. Linton: They will tell you whether you can or you cannot.
Senator Verner: I will speak to you in French. Like many of my
colleagues, I wear contact lenses, and I have for just over 30 years now. Dr.
Linton, when you say a contact lens has to be adjusted to the base curve of the
eye, I can say, from experience, I know what you mean. I never miss my yearly
exam, for that matter. Personally, I can tell you that I cannot wear improperly
fitted contact lenses for more than five minutes. All contact lens wearers will
tell you that. If the lenses are not properly fitted, if the base curve is not
right, you cannot wear them for more than five minutes. I could not even leave
my house with them on.
My question has to do with the discussion around cosmetic lenses not being
properly fitted. How would someone who buys and wears improperly fitted lenses
develop a wound or a problem as a result?
Frankly, that person would really have to enjoy pain to wear lenses that do
not fit. How, then, could someone wear them long enough to do damage to their
Dr. Linton: That is interesting, because teenagers like to look good
and they really do not care if it is a little uncomfortable, and it is what
happens over an extended period of time. Keep in mind you are wearing contact
lenses that are comfortable, but there are many youth that like to look good and
they really do not care. It might hurt a little bit, but you can develop a
corneal abrasion quite easily or if the lens does not move properly you can also
have the blood vessels grow into the eye, an encroachment over an extended
period of time. It is important, and some people will accept that discomfort,
We are trying to make sure they get the best advice they can and they be
fitted properly, and first do no harm.
Senator Verner: I maintain what I said. In the past, I have worn
contact lenses that were not comfortable, and I can tell you that I never wore
them long enough to experience that degree of irritation. It hurts to wear
lenses that do not fit properly. A simple speck of dust can irritate the eye.
Perhaps it is simply a matter of endurance or age, but that was the question I
The other question I have is for the president of the company. If you had to
provide consumers with lenses of varying curves in response to what optometrists
are asking, would the prices be so high that you would lose market share?
Mr. Mehta: The base curve and size that have been chosen for our
product would be your best fitting average. A few people on either side of that
average may find a product uncomfortable, and those are the people who have
contacted us. You are correct; if a product is uncomfortable, they would not be
able to wear it, at least not long enough to create an infection from it.
We would be very happy to work with the eye care practitioners and offer more
sizes if that would make the product more suitable for Canadian consumers. The
biggest concern we have here is opening the market to product of inferior
quality with unknown materials that could have further or worse consequences.
Dr. Linton: The key point is that they will still not know what base
curve will fit them. They still need to be fitted. That is the key.
Senator Enverga: Assuming Bill C-313 passes, would you expect only
opticians to be giving out and prescribing these contact lenses? Should it be
restricted to specified retailers only, or can anyone else sell the product?
The Chair: The question is, if this bill goes into place, will there
be any change in who dispenses the lenses?
Dr. Linton: There are three professionals that fit contact lenses now:
opticians who are contact lens fitters, which is a licence; ophthalmologists;
The Chair: Are you saying that they will now be required to be
involved in fitting these lenses?
Dr. Linton: Exactly.
Senator Enverga: Can they sell the lenses, or can anyone else sell the
Dr. Linton: They would still be able to sell the lenses, but by
Senator Enverga: Does that mean that other retailers can sell them?
Dr. Linton: There would still have to be a fit.
The Chair: It would be a prescription, meaning it would be a defined
prescription. It would define what the individual can get in return.
Senator Enverga: Will they be able to provide a prescription the way
it was prescribed?
Mr. Mehta: Can you repeat that?
Senator Enverga: Can your retailer or supplier supply the same curve
or the same product that the opticians can sell?
Mr. Mehta: Do you mean with varying base curves and such?
Senator Enverga: Yes.
Mr. Mehta: That would not be within the realm of a cosmetic contact,
no. A cosmetic contact is purely a simple product for very occasional use at a
certain price point.
Senator Munson: When we have prescription drugs or vitamin pills, we
are told what is in the bill. I would like to know what makes these corrective
contact lenses turn all these different colours and what the materials are in
I also have a more substantive question. Camden Passage Inc. states on its
website that its cosmetic contact lenses are not medical devices but, rather,
are managed by the cosmetics division of Health Canada. The Food and Drugs Act,
which regulates cosmetics, defines a cosmetic as ``any substance or mixture of
substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or
altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth, and includes deodorants and
Are the contact lenses currently sold by your company regulated as cosmetics?
If not, what do you mean by the phrase on your website, ``managed by the
cosmetics division of Health Canada''?
Mr. Mehta: They are regulated by the cosmetics division of Health
Canada. We are registered with the cosmetics division of Health Canada,
providing all the pertinent information of the product, the makeup and the dyes
Senator Munson: I would like to get an answer to the materials. We all
would like to know what is in those non- corrective contact lenses. What is in
there that makes your eyes go blue, pink or yellow?
Mr. Mehta: We have a proprietary polymer blank, which would be the
base of the material. It is not a contact lens product. It is a proprietary
product, which is a polymer blank, and then it is applied with cosmetic grade
colourings. I can provide you all the scientific data on the product and all the
scientific studies we have undertaken or the manufacturers have undertaken with
respect to the product.
Senator Munson: These are all done in a plant in the U.K.?
Mr. Mehta: They are all manufactured in a plant in the U.K., correct,
all governed by U.K. law. I do have samples of the product here.
Senator Munson: I just needed a clarification. Thank you.
The Chair: I would like to come back and try to make sure that our
committee is clear about the essence of this issue. I think Dr. Linton
successfully clarified for the committee that, in the case of normal
prescription lenses, the individual's eye is examined carefully and a
prescription is given for a lens that would fit that eye curvature and character
to the best degree possible; is that correct?
Dr. Linton: Yes.
The Chair: I believe you also said — and I believe Mr. Mehta confirmed
this in response to a recent question — that the cosmetic lenses are sold as one
size only; is that correct?
Mr. Mehta: Correct.
The Chair: Thank you.
Did we understand, Dr. Linton, that you said that when this bill comes into
effect, the individual will need to come for a prescription? Additionally, if I
understood Mr. Mehta correctly, he indicated that they would continue to sell
one size. Dr. Linton, was your answer to the question ``Would they need a
prescription?'' that the professional who is authorized to write such a
prescription would prescribe it only for those eyes that would accept the
standard product; was that what you were saying?
Dr. Linton: Yes.
The Chair: Thank you very much. I want to ensure we have these
important issues clarified.
I want to again come to a couple of other issues with regard to the
marketplace and the international market. We heard you say, and could you
confirm, that the U.K. and the U.S. have regulations that are similar to the
regulation coming forward?
Dr. Linton: Yes.
The Chair: Thank you. I think those questions clarify the issues that
I was interested in. Senator Martin, were you satisfied with the follow-up?
Senator Martin: When you talked about importing, I wondered where it
Senator Seth: Did it come from the U.S. only?
The Chair: No.
I just have a technical question about your summary with regard to your
polymer, which is the base for the various colours, I would assume. Is that
applied on the surface or integrated into the material of the lens?
Mr. Mehta: The colourants are —
The Chair: Your proprietary materials that you described as having a
Mr. Mehta: That is the polymer blank, which is a base. Scientifically,
I could not answer that with any degree of accuracy, but it is the base material
upon which the dyes are baked.
The Chair: I understand the chemistry. I just wonder whether it is
incorporated into the substance of the lens or whether it is a coating on the
Mr. Mehta: The dyes would be a coating on the surface of the lens.
The Chair: Thank you.
Mr. Mehta: Regarding the U.K. and U.S. markets, in the U.K. market,
our product is currently being sold as approved by the General Optical Council,
GOC, in the U.K. as a safe product for sale within the United Kingdom.
The U.S. does allow the sale of cosmetic contacts. Some of the states do
regulate the products and have a very strong grey market, and some states do not
regulate other prescription products and are over the counter normally. We are
in the final process of FDA approval, just dotting the i's and crossing the t's.
The Chair: Thank you very much. We understand how they will be
prescribed. They are one-size-fits-all. Having exhausted this line of
questioning, we will transition immediately to the next panel.
It is my pleasure to welcome Patricia Davidson, Member of Parliament for
Sarnia-Lambton, and the sponsor of this bill. We are pleased to have you here
and we would welcome your presentation. Then we will open for questions,
following which we will proceed to clause by clause.
Patricia Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, sponsor of the
bill: Thank you very much, chair and members of the Standing Senate
Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I appreciate being allowed
to appear before you to speak in support of my private member's bill, Bill
C-313. I believe you have heard from previous testimony of the need for a more
robust regulatory presence in the non-corrective contact lens industry to better
protect Canadian consumers. These lenses are also known as cosmetic lenses.
As medical eye experts all agree, my bill will effectively and efficiently
enhance eye care protection for Canadian consumers and allow an immediate remedy
to some of the dangers associated with this growing industry here in Canada. For
the purposes of our discussion this morning, we shall call these lenses simply
Canada lags behind our trading partners in the U.S. and European Union by not
having any regulatory oversight on cosmetic lenses. The same type of
classification I am seeking with my bill for non-corrective lenses in Canada is
already in place in jurisdictions like the United States. The lack of regulatory
oversight on these products, despite the fact they have the same effect on the
human eye as prescribed contact lenses, which are already Class II medical
devices, has long warranted our government's taking a sober second look at this
situation to see if we cannot better protect Canadian consumers.
The Internet has taken the decorative contact lens industry to new heights
that regulators could not have foreseen a decade ago. Yet today when your
teenage son, daughter or grandchild can order these products effortlessly and
with little caution to medical oversight for their own eye health, we need to
consider potential remedies.
What I have proposed will allow for the continued trade in the marketplace of
such products, albeit at a higher standard of quality and with some actual
concern for the consumer. I have uncovered numerous media stories over the
course of my research through work on my private member's business that shed
light on the growing list of product recalls from some of these Internet
Many of these Internet vendors operate from non-Canadian locations. However,
there are a handful of Canadian operators. Although many of these Canadian
operators appreciate the positive intentions of Bill C-313, it appears others
seek to thwart the legislation for whatever reason they deem necessary. As
legislators, we must concern ourselves with the standards in place to oversee
this type of transaction to ensure some sort of measure is in place for consumer
Making non-corrective lenses a Class II medical device will serve to increase
the oversight on these products and, more important, their distributers. That is
why these measures have been long called for by the medical eye care industry,
such as the experts you have heard from in your previous witness testimony this
It is clear that my bill intends to prevent a growing issue, one that can
largely be addressed by ensuring a Class II medical device status on
non-corrective lenses to allow better regulatory oversight of these products
literally flooding our marketplace to uninformed consumers in most cases.
Upon the introduction of Bill C-313 in the forty-first Parliament, I have
been again positively impressed with the work of my colleagues from all parties
who have seen this issue as a true health concern for Canadian consumers and
have again pledged their unanimous support to the bill.
With that in mind, I am keen to continue this discussion with you today on my
legislation. I will present a few brief facts on this issue of to non-corrective
It is now an established scientific fact that national distribution of
non-prescriptive contact lenses without professional oversight, fitting and
training significantly increases the risk of public harm. Today we know the
warnings on cosmetic lenses dating back to October 23, 2000, by Health Canada
were warranted and now require a legislative recourse to alleviate the potential
harm that could be done to consumers of these products.
A short list of the complications that could occur due to unsafe handling and
wearing an improperly fitted lens in your eye includes the following:
conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, giant papillary conjunctivitis, microbial
keratitis and other forms of bacterial, allergic and microbial infection as
specified by the eye care industry.
We already know these complications occur with prescribed corrective lenses,
which is exactly why Health Canada regulates use of these products through
opticians and regulatory bodies.
Through peer-reviewed studies, we have learned that non-prescribed cosmetic
lenses are more likely to cause complications to users. This is due to a
combination of factors, including lack of oversight in how to use the product
and the potential quality of the product. Usually, the distributer does little
to proactively discuss potential eye health ramifications with the consumers of
As legislators, we must rely on the scientific facts regarding the risk of
these products. To date, we have seen several studies on the issue of decorative
lenses and the harm they can cause to consumers. Perhaps the most well-known
study in Canada is Human Health Risk Assessment of Cosmetic Contact Lenses
conducted by Dillon Consulting Limited. Also known as the Dillon report, the
final assessment was submitted to Health Canada in September 2003 and outlined
the scientific evidence — which at this point was still being debated by public
health officials — that the level of risk associated with the use of cosmetic
contact lenses is comparable to that associated with corrective lenses and may
be potentially higher.
In addition, research conducted at the Department of Ophthalmology at
Strasbourg University Hospital in Strasbourg, France, clearly indicates:
Patients who acquire cosmetic contact lenses are less likely to be
instructed on appropriate lenses use and basic hygiene rules. Consequently,
cosmetic contact lens wearers are experiencing acute vision-threatening
There is no reason to believe that the situation is any different in Canada.
In fact, the Dillon report of 2003 also came to the same conclusions as the
French study in 2011.
Colleagues, I feel it is essential that we work together on this important
issue to ensure that the eye health of Canadians is protected because I feel
that under the current regulatory regime there is no oversight of these non-
corrective lenses. In fact, many Canadians could be placing their vision at
We have a chance to work together on this legislation to ensure that the
concerns of the eye care industry are taken seriously and that we take Health
Canada's own warnings on non-corrective lenses seriously as well. It is time to
bring them under the same regulations as prescriptive contact lenses.
I believe this is the proper recourse for us, as policy-makers, to consider.
Thank you for your time today and I am prepared to assist you with questions.
The Chair: Thank you very much. I will turn to my colleagues.
Senator Verner: You mentioned, in your presentation, a report that
went to Health Canada in 2003. Did Health Canada come out with any statistics on
the number of complaints it received about the product over the past 10 or so
Ms. Davidson: Certainly there were concerns reported to Health Canada
much earlier than this. I do not have those statistics. Health Canada would be
the one to ask for that.
This has been a concern across the eye care industry for many years and also
with Health Canada, which has been very supportive. As you may know, I brought a
private member's motion forward in the Thirty-ninth Parliament. It was supported
fully by the Minister of Health at that time, as well as Health Canada. In
continuing on with this quest — this is now my third time — and a bill coming
forward, it has always been supported by Health Canada. They feel this is the
right way to go, and both health ministers through that time frame have
supported it fully.
Senator Verner: I understand that Health Canada and ministers in
different Parliaments supported it, but I see that that they did not move
forward on it. That would suggest that the need for corresponding measures was
not urgent enough to warrant action, since the community's concerns over the use
of these lenses go back some 10 years.
Are you aware of any legal action taken against companies making or selling
these kinds of lenses?
Ms. Davidson: From studies and reports that have been done by the eye
care industry, we know these cosmetic contact lenses have caused damage to eyes.
As was alluded to earlier, the main audience for these cosmetic lenses are our
young people, and we all know that our eyes are extremely important. I see many
of us sitting around here with glasses, and I heard several giving testimony
about the fact they wear corrective contact lenses. I do not think I need to
tell too many people around this table how important our eye health is.
However, I think it is incumbent upon us to put everything in place that we
can to ensure the eye health of our young people, in particular. We have had
some testimony and contact from some of the distributers of the cosmetic lenses.
They have been very supportive of it, and clearlycontacts.ca, an Internet
distributer, supported this bill and feel that it is the right way to go.
Senator Verner: The U.S. regulated the use of cosmetic contact lenses.
Do we know what kind of an impact that regulation has had? Did it solve the
problem? Did it address the concerns regarding young people? After all, they are
the main wearers of these lenses. Do we know what outcome the regulation has
Ms. Davidson: It is my understanding that the regulations in place in
the United States are the same as what my bill is asking for, so they would be
classified as a Class II medical device.
We know that there are issues with regular contact lenses if they are not
fitted properly, if they are not of a good quality. Those are the issues that we
are hoping to address with this bill. Those are the issues that have already
been addressed in the United States. Those safeguards are in place there. The
protections are there now for more young people in the United States and in the
United Kingdom. Other areas are already looking at this, and some may have moved
forward since I last did my research and started this. I know other countries
were looking at it as well. It is an issue that is recognized internationally
and that has been acted on in other countries. Canada is lagging behind.
Senator Munson: Thank you for being here. I am a great believer in
private member's bills.
You have heard the testimony from the gentleman who is head of Camden Passage
Ms. Davidson: No, I did not.
Senator Munson: In his statement he talked about unintended
consequences, which, in their opinion, will far outweigh any good achieved by
Bill C-313. Mr. Mehta said that consumers will be driven to the Internet where
they can obtain coloured contacts at a fraction of the increased cost from Asian
sources that are not of the same quality as our ISO product standards. What do
you make of that statement?
Ms. Davidson: The intent of this bill is to ensure that there are
regulations in place. There has to be registration through Health Canada, to
begin with, so they have to meet certain standards if this bill is passed. Those
standards will include the quality of the product. I am not sure what he was
inferring, whether he was inferring that the quality would be inferior, but that
is exactly the purpose of this bill. It is to ensure that there is some
regulation, and the people then will have to be registered with Health Canada so
they can have their product registered as a Class II medical device. There are
protections in place under this.
Senator Munson: I understand the regulations, but it seems that the
market here is for young people and this may not stop them from going to another
market to put these non-corrective contact lenses on.
Ms. Davidson: It may not, but I think it will stop some. I think it
behooves us as legislators to make sure that we put the best protections in
place that we can.
Senator Munson: You talked about the Dillon report, and that was 2003.
It is now 2012. I know things work slowly, but this is almost a decade. Why so
long to address this issue in a legislative way?
Ms. Davidson: As I said earlier, I started this process in the
Thirty-ninth Parliament, and because of circumstances that have happened along
the way, we are now in the Forty-first Parliament. Certainly, it has now finally
been passed by the house and we are now at the Senate at committee hearings
here. It does take a long time. I was hopeful that things would have gone
through the first time I brought things forward but, because of different
circumstances, they did not. The bill had to be reintroduced. The motion had to
be reintroduced and then the private member's bill. As you have pointed out, it
has taken a long time, and I think that is all the more reason we need to move
on it in a timely fashion.
Senator Munson: Did this spark much of a debate in the House of
Commons, for and against?
Ms. Davidson: No, actually it did not. It was supported by all parties
in the House of Commons, and it was supported by all parties at the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Health.
Senator Merchant: I have just a few points of clarification. You spoke
about the regulation in the U.S. One of the previous speakers said that some
states in the U.S. had approved this kind of legislation. Is it everywhere in
the U.S. or just certain states that require this?
Ms. Davidson: It is my understanding that it is much the same as the
Canadian process. In Canada, if this is passed, then it becomes the federal
legislation that provides so much of the background, but this is only the first
step. It requires also the provinces to get on board and be a part of it and
look after the distribution end of it at the next level. There are federal and
state responsibilities, and there are federal and provincial responsibilities,
so it is a two-pronged process.
Senator Merchant: That answers my second question, which was that the
doctor previously said that this legislation is just the first step. I was going
to ask you what other steps we have to go through, but maybe you have answered
it by saying that the provinces have to align themselves to it. Are there other
Ms. Davidson: Yes. As I said, this is the first step and it has to be
there to put the federal regulation in place, and then the provinces can add
their non-corrective contact lenses to the same regulatory environment as
corrective contact lenses. It is very much a two-step process.
Senator Merchant: Do you envision any penalties for people who
continue to sell lenses, maybe under the counter? I do not think you can
regulate the Internet, but do you foresee some place where there may have to be
Ms. Davidson: That certainly is not part of this bill, but that is a
good question to ask Health Canada, whether they have the latitude to police
that. I do not know that, but it is not part of this bill.
Senator Cordy: It is always interesting to find out why someone brings
forward a private member's bill. Can you tell us why you brought it forward? It
was quite a while ago.
Ms. Davidson: I can still remember, though. I sat as a member of the
Standing Committee on Health in the House of Commons for several years. When I
first brought my private motion forward, I was a member of that committee.
Because I have always had really bad eyes, that is something that always
interested me. I had met with many eye care professionals. I had heard lots of
stories about different things and then got talking to acquaintances and family
members and found out that I actually had some people who were fairly close to
me who had eye damage caused from non-corrective lenses. That made me look into
it a little further. Fortunately, those people had corneal abrasions but they
were healable and reversible. However, that is not always the case. Everyone
does not have that advantage of their being reversible. It is what got me
interested in it, and as I looked further I learned more about it.
Senator Cordy: It is always interesting hearing because it is always
stories you have heard.
Both the former health minister, Minister Clement, and Minister Aglukkaq
supported that bill. Is there a reason that the minister did not bring it
forward as a government bill?
Ms. Davidson: This was something I brought forward. Whether it would
have come forward through Health Canada if I had not, I do not know, but
certainly they supported it wholeheartedly. I received a great deal of support
from Health Canada and both of those ministers.
Senator Cordy: Most times, a government bill will move a little bit
How will this bill change Internet sales? You rightfully said to us in your
presentation that the Internet has taken the decorative contact lens industry to
new heights. I would agree, because the market is comprised of a lot of younger
people who do a lot of their purchasing online. Then you said that many operate
from non-Canadian locations but that there are a handful of Canadian operators.
How will this bill affect the majority of sales that will take place on the
Ms. Davidson: I think the largest change will be that they have to be
certified and qualified under a Class II medical device. Each one that is
offered for sale must meet the qualifications of Health Canada. Health Canada
has the right to recall products all the time if they are not meeting the
regulations. We know that there are always recalls happening.
They not only have to meet the Class II medical device qualification but they
also have to meet the quality of the product legislation. Right now, I believe
we would all agree that there have been questions about the quality in some
instances. This bill is designed to see that the quality of the device meets
Health Canada's standards.
Senator Cordy: This bill will cause a change of classification.
Ms. Davidson: Yes.
Senator Cordy: With that classification, Health Canada will then have
the ability to recall.
Ms. Davidson: That is correct.
Senator Seth: This bill seems to be interesting and good for the
prevention of eye damage. After implementing Bill C-313, have we thought about
how we will facilitate things for youth who are keen to get these cosmetic
contact lenses? Will we set up more eye clinics, ophthalmologists to facilitate
things? Will they also reduce the prices for the lenses in order to avoid
looking for these cheap lenses? Have we further thought how we will handle it?
Ms. Davidson: I think this is definitely a question that would have
been a good one to ask the eye care industry. I cannot really speak for them and
say how they would deal with it. I think your question is saying how they would
handle an increased workload. Is that what you were asking?
Senator Seth: No. Suppose I need a cosmetic lens or non-corrective
lenses, and I was getting them easily. Suddenly the law has come and I cannot
buy them, and still I am looking. Will we not facilitate things so these youth
can go to the clinic and easily things can be done in order to not look for the
back door and buying these non-corrective lenses? Have we thought about how we
will manage it?
Ms. Davidson: I am sure there will be opportunities for youth to be
able to access the proper care needed for the fitting. That is the whole essence
of the bill and that is the support that the eye care industry is giving. They
realize and recognize that this needs to be done.
One of the basic problems with the non-corrective lenses is the fact that
they are not fitted. Not only can they cause damage from scraping and scratching
but, as has been pointed out before, the lack of oxygen allowed to get to the
cornea is also a danger. The eye care industry is well aware of this and is
prepared to address that issue.
The Chair: I have a couple of observations. I was interested in
Senator Munson's question about the length of time. As I recall, he has
expressed an interest in it and has had his own experiences with it; he has some
familiarity with the time it takes for things to proceed.
Ms. Davidson, following up on the question from Senator Cordy asking about
the interests of the health ministers, am I correct in my understanding that
Bill C-51, which was a government bill, did not get to this stage for the
various reasons you have implied? Regardless, was there not in that bill a
definition that a contact lens is a medical device, and then that would have
come under some of these regulations?
Ms. Davidson: That is correct, senator. Bill C-51 would have brought
this forward in the initial stages of my private member's motion. However, as
has been pointed out, Bill C-51 did not get passed.
The Chair: Thank you very much for joining us. Do colleagues agree
that Ms. Davidson can stay at the table for clause by clause?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Colleagues, are you prepared to move to clause by clause?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: I will proceed to the stages of clause-by-clause
Is it agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall the title stand postponed?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Shall clause 1 carry?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Agreed. It is carried.
Shall clause 2 carry?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Clause 2 carried.
Shall the title carry?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: The title is carried.
Shall the bill carry?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Carried.
Does the committee wish to consider appending observations? Hearing none, no.
Is it agreed that I report this bill to the Senate?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Chair: Thank you. It is agreed.
With that, I congratulate you, Ms. Davidson, on reaching this stage. However,
with your experience you know that time still goes on. I will, as the committee
has directed me, report this to the Senate.