You may recall that MLA Hannah Bell tabled Motion 30, Social Assistance Vision Care, just under a month ago, in the Legislative Assembly of PEI.
From my own District 12 MLA, Karla Bernard, I learned that when motions get called for debate is managed by the party introducing them: each party is allotted, by negotiation, a certain amount of time, and budgeting that time is a complex dance involving other legislative business, the relative importance of various bills and motions, and other factors.
Motion 30’s time to shine finally arrived yesterday, and here is the video of the debate that ensued (original source here):
If you watched until the end, you will know that the bill passed unanimously, and that government, through the Minister of Social Development and Housing, committed to increasing the rates for eye examinations, lenses, and frames once the budget, currently being debated, passes.
There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip, so we don’t know right now the what and the when and the how of this, but the unanimous vote, with support from government members, the opposition, and the third party, must surely help offer momentum.
In conversations with optometrists and opticians in recent weeks, I know how transformative increasing support for vision care will be for many Islanders: the rates have languished for decades at their current level, leaving many with substandard vision.
Kudos to Hannah Bell, seconder Trish Altass, Minister of Social Development and Housing Brad Trivers, and all members of the Legislative Assembly for moving this forward.