Elections for Council for the ACAO is now open!

You may now vote online via Simply Voting. Online voting will close at 4 p.m. Sunday May 6, 2018. There are 3 positions available for Council and we have a record 6 candidates running! Please select only 3 candidates. Those with the most votes will be elected for a three year term.

Follow this link for simple steps on how to vote online

For more information on who is running, read our ACAO Council Election Information Package or download the PDF version here.


We Need Opticians for CRC and Hearing Tribunals

Are you an experienced Optician with an interest in dispute resolution?

If so, the ACAO invites you to consider an active role in self-governance as a member of our Disciplines committee, which includes the Complaints Review Committee (CRC) and Hearing Tribunal.

The CRC reviews dismissed complaints at the request of complainants. A Hearing Tribunal considers evidence and arguments in adjudicating a charge of unprofessional conduct against an Optician. Each is comprised of at least three members: two Opticians and at least one member from the public.


We promise an interesting, challenging, and very satisfying experience.


CRC or Hearing Tribunal positions are open to all registered members who are in good standing with the ACAO.  Experience serving on committees or assessing students or opticians for readiness to enter practice are valuable assets but not required. We are willing to train.


Expected time commitment is one day for a CRC meeting, and one to two days for a Hearing Tribunal, plus up to 15 additional hours. The Chair of the CRC or Hearing Tribunal will prepare decision documents with the assistance of legal counsel.

The ACAO ensures all committee members working on behalf of the ACAO are able to do so without incurring personal financial expense. Therefore, we will compensate and reimburse committee members in accordance with ACAO financial policies.

Apply by May 4, 2018.

For more information or to apply, contact Kristie Murray, Hearings Director at:

Phone: (780) 429-2694 or

Email: Kristie@acao.ca

Cross-Border Internet Practice


By Erica Richler

*The following article was pulled from this blog.

“Yesterday an important decision was rendered by the Ontario Superior Court on the cross-border internet practice of professions. In College of Optometrists of Ontario v. Essilor Group Canada Inc., 2018 ONSC 206, two regulators (the College of Opticians of Ontario was also a party) obtained an injunction against a major internet supplier of contact lenses and eyeglasses requiring it to comply with Ontario rules relating to dispensing eyewear. Essilor (the parent of Clearly and Coastal) operated out of British Columbia. Essilor tried to portray the application as turf protection to guard the commercial interests of optometrists and opticians. The Court viewed that argument as irrelevant; the issue was whether the online dispensing of lenses and eyeglasses was permitted by the legislation.

The Court first addressed whether the actions of Essilor breached the Ontario legislation by “dispensing” eyewear, which is a controlled act. The Court noted that while the controlled act scheme in the legislation was designed to prevent harm, one had to interpret the language of the provision and not conduct a risk-assessment of the specific conduct in the case. The Court concluded “that ‘dispensing’ is not a singular act but a series of acts that encompass the making, adjustment (fitting) and delivery of” eyewear. Under the Essilor business model, no Ontario-registered practitioner was responsible for performing these functions. That outcome was contrary to the purpose of the provisions (i.e., ensuring the provision of proper health care by qualified and authorized professionals). It was evident to the Court that Essilor was making and delivering contact lenses and eyeglasses.

The second issue was whether Ontario legislation applied in circumstances where almost everything Essilor did occurred in British Columbia. The Court indicated that it should not take an “old-world understanding of place and time”. The location of the action should not be assessed on a purely commercial transaction basis (i.e., where was the contract made?), as is done under the Civil Code in Quebec. Rather, location should be determined in a manner consistent with the purpose of the provisions. Under this approach the Court looked for whether there was a “sufficient connection” between the conduct and Ontario. The Court said that a “purposive analysis of the legislation demonstrates that this situation is best characterized not as a contract for the sale of eyeglasses, but as the delivery of health care.”

The Court engaged in a fascinating discussion of the location of events over the internet. It cited authorities viewing such interactions as occurring “both here and there”. The Court concluded that where the order was placed by an individual in Ontario and the eyewear was received in Ontario, presumably to be used in Ontario, there was a sufficient connection to Ontario. “To find otherwise would mean the eyeglasses are provided without obligation to adhere to Ontario regulation.” The Court was also not swayed by the fact that ordering lenses and eyeglasses online was permitted in British Columbia; such a change in the law in Ontario should be done by the legislature, not the courts.

In passing, the Court noted that the regulatory rules of Ontario also applied to internet practice within Ontario. Internet providers that are based in Ontario and dispense eyewear to Ontario clients need to comply with all Ontario rules.”


Your 2018 OAC Membership

You may have recently received an e-mail about your 2018 OAC membership. We’re sorry that you did not hear about this from us first. We’re hoping we can give you further information and help you understand why we have made this decision. 

Read More

Please read this letter from Alberta Health Services regarding Infection Control and the Influenza Immunization Program.

We encourage all health care providers, including opticians, to get their annual flu shot if medically able. You can help keep yourself and your patients healthy during flu season.

Please stop by your local pharmacy or flu clinic for your shot. Flu shots are provided for free to all Alberta citizens, aged 6 months and older.

Not sure where to look? Alberta Health Services has a flu clinic lookup to help you plan for your influenza immunization.