The Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled this morning that Clearly can continue selling prescription eyewear online in Ontario. The Court dismissed the Ontario College of Optometrists and the College of Opticians joint application to seek an injunction preventing Clearly from selling prescription eyewear in Ontario. The court stated that when Clearly, which operates in compliance with the laws of its home province, British Columbia, is delivering eyeglasses to an Ontario consumer, the act of delivery is not the “controlled act” of “dispensing” which Ontario law governs.
“This is great news for Ontario consumers who increasingly are turning to the Internet for information on vision care and their purchases,” stated Arnaud Bussières, chief executive officer of Clearly. “Online sales of eyeglasses, contact lenses and sunglasses are one of the fastest growing sectors and the optical industry must respond to these transformations. Online sales give many remote customers or busy families the opportunity to enjoy better vision on their own terms. This by no means reduces the need for eyecare professionals and comprehensive annual eye exams for good visual health.”
Clearly also wants to work with optometrists and opticians in Ontario and across Canada to meet the growing online demand for vision correction, protection, and products while continuing to deliver eye health information and promote the importance of eye examinations. “For example, we are looking at establishing a prescription verification for any eyewear product requiring a prescription that is ordered on Clearly’s website,” said Arnaud Bussières. “This action is an example of the initiatives we are ready to take to serve the consumer in its new journey while prioritizing eye health.”