Private Member’s Bill Calls for National Strategy On Eye Care

On June 14th in the House of Commons, Hon. Judy Sgro, MP for Humber River-Black Creek, introduced Bill C-284 to establish a National Strategy for Eye Care.

Fighting Blindness Canada applauds this step. For years, Fighting Blindness Canada in partnership with other vision organizations including Canadian Council of the Blind, CNIB, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, Diabetes Canada, Canadian Association of Optometrists and Canadian Ophthalmological Society have advocated for a National Vision Health Plan. This plan is necessary to focus energy and resources on eye health and the impact that vision loss has for health and well-being.

When introducing the Bill, Mrs. Sgro said “Mr. Speaker, I am very happy today to have the opportunity to introduce this bill calling for a national strategy on eye care, something that, for many years, Canadians have been calling for, and something that the government has promised many times before that.

I want to acknowledge that I am introducing this bill in memory of my grandmother, Annie Steeves, and I continue to see my aunt Ruby Gentile and my long-time friend and mentor Paul Valenti, who suffer from blindness.”

Mrs. Sgro cited the over eight million Canadians living with a blinding eye disease as why the House needs to pass this Bill. “I ask all of my colleagues to just imagine how their lives would change if they lost their eyesight. We take it for granted, and we do not stop to think enough. Over eight million people currently live with a blinding eye disease that puts them at risk, and these numbers are expected to grow to almost 14 million people.”

“Many of us currently in the House may also develop macular degeneration, and I would like to see February designated as macular degeneration awareness month.” Mrs. Srgo continued.

“The Canadian Council of the Blind, Fighting Blindness Canada, CNIB and countless other organizations have been calling for an eye strategy for Canada, to move forward with the commitment made previously to develop a national eye strategy that will protect the eye health of all Canadians.”

The Bill’s first reading motion was adopted and the Bill will now move to a second reading. Fighting Blindness Canada urges you to write to your M.P. to encourage them to support the Bill.

Click HERE for the full press release.

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