Healthy vision is something we shouldn’t take for granted, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes who has been promoting the idea of a Pan-Canadian Framework for Action on Eye Health and Vision Care ever since a meeting with the Canadian Optometrists Association last year helped her understand the need for action.
“I was struck by the challenges that many people, especially children, face and the gap in programming that can help address these,” said Hughes. “It seems like an area where we can really move things forward with a bit of effort.”
Hughes has been delivering petitions in support of the idea and encouraging other MPs to get involved as well.
“Although I tabled a motion, this is an idea that isn’t particularly partisan,” said Hughes. “I would be happy if all MPs get behind it and pass the motion so we can promote a policy direction that will ultimately help children.”
Hughes’ motion calls on the government to work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and governments, as well as not-for-profit eye health and vision care organizations towards the creation of a pan-Canadian Framework for Action on Eye Health and Vision Care.
“Currently, there are too many gaps and children are experiencing different levels of care,” said Hughes. “Even something as simple as vision testing isn’t done for all children, and that alone can leave some undiagnosed and struggling to keep up in school.”
Last month, in her capacity as a Chair Occupant, Hughes hosted an Eye Read and Play event in cooperation with the CAO to help inform other MPs of the issue.
“It was a fun and educational event that brought children with differing vision conditions and MPs together,” said Hughes. “Some of the children read books from Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing authors.”
The books from Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing authors were, In the Heart of Canada: The Story of Wawa by Ray MacDonell with illustrations by Darlene Jordan Pfaff, and Gontran de Vilamir by Michèle LeBlanc of Hearst.