REALITY CHECK: New email raises questions for Liberal leadership hopeful Kevin Falcon

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An email sent out by Clearly Contacts urging their customers to join the B.C. Liberal Party in order to vote for Kevin Falcon raises serious questions for the B.C. Liberal leadership hopeful about his decision to loosen eye care regulations:

  • In October 2009, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that Coastal Contacts (also known as Clearly Contacts) was not following B.C. regulations. Rather than abiding by the current rules the company pushed for the law to be changed.
  • In 2009, Coastal Contacts donated $10,300 to the B.C. Liberal Party.
  • In May 2010, then-Health Minister Kevin Falcon loosened eye care regulations, making B.C.’s standards the lowest in Canada. This move was criticised by groups including the CNIB, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the B.C. Association of Optometrists, and the American Optometric Association.
  • Yesterday, Clearly Contacts sent out an email to their customers, urging them to join the B.C. Liberal Party in order to vote for Kevin Falcon as the next premier of B.C., and pointing to the changes brought in last year as a reason to do so.

The question now is: whose interests did Kevin Falcon have in mind when he pushed through changes last year that loosened the rules around glasses and contacts? Was the former health minister looking out for the public, or was he trying to line up support for his future leadership bid?

A copy of the original e-mail from Clearly Contacts is attached below:

Attachment: e-mail_from_clearly_contacts