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  1. #1
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    Breaking News in the Great Glasses Court Case

    Business owner lied under oath, court told



    By Steve Buist
    The Hamilton Spectator
    (Oct 26, 2006)
    The man behind southern Ontario's Great Glasses empire was repeatedly portrayed yesterday as a liar incapable of telling the truth during the opening day of a rare contempt case being heard in a Hamilton courtroom.
    Bruce Bergez, of Dundas, is facing a possible fine of at least $4 million if he's found guilty in a civil contempt of court action that has been launched by the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
    The College of Optometrists is alleging that Bergez and the Great Glasses stores have been violating an earlier court decision from 2003 that ordered the chain to comply with Ontario legislation that governs opticians, optometrists and physicians with respect to prescribing and dispensing eye glasses and contact lenses.
    The college alleges that Great Glasses stores are preparing eye glasses and contacts without proper prescriptions from an optometrist or physician, and then dispensing them to customers without the proper supervision of an optician.
    The Great Glasses chain, which has five stores in Hamilton and two in Burlington, is widely known for its "3 for 1" glasses promotion, as well as the offer of a free eye test for customers with no appointment necessary.
    Roy Stephenson, the lawyer representing the College of Optometrists, spent the day attacking dozens of inconsistencies contained in three separate examinations under oath he conducted with Bergez earlier this year as he attempted to uncover how the Great Glasses empire operated.
    The third examination had been ordered by the court with Bergez facing the threat of imprisonment if he didn't answer dozens of questions from the College of Optometrists.
    "(Bergez) lies under oath, he lies in affidavits and I'm going to ask the court to find that he's fabricated documentation," Stephenson said.
    "He's arrogant, he doesn't believe in authority and he's making millions of dollars doing it," Stephenson added.
    Stephenson told Superior Court Justice David Crane that it took three examinations of Bergez and two court orders before he finally got some insight into how money flowed through the Great Glasses' franchises.
    It wasn't until the third examination that Bergez revealed that the owner of Great Glasses' parent company was a "Buster Kafer."
    Stephenson told the court that Buster Kafer didn't actually exist and that the name was simply an amalgamation of Bergez's dog's name, plus his mother's maiden name.
    At one point, Stephenson pointed out that franchise agreements for the Great Glasses locations had all been signed "by Buster Kafer, which is astonishing because I didn't know that dogs could write.
    "I guess this one can," Stephenson added wryly.
    The case continues today.
    sbuist@thespec.com
    905-526-3226

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder mike.elmes's Avatar
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    the very vext day

    http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NAS...=1161899444694

    This is from the day after.....and NO decision has been made.
    Last edited by mike.elmes; 10-30-2006 at 06:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike.elmes View Post
    http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NAS...=1161899444694

    This is from the day after.....and NO decision has been made.
    Thanks Mike......I am one of the many who are hoping to see justice done in this case.

    Regards,
    Golfnorth

  4. #4
    registeredoptician Refractingoptician.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golfnorth View Post
    Thanks Mike......I am one of the many who are hoping to see justice done in this case.

    Regards,
    Golfnorth

    I would like to suggest that those interested read the judges decision for a different viewpoint of some things:

    http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/20...onsc11255.html

    http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/20...onsc11137.html

    I am not defending any of the various parties involved only suggesting that to fully understand what is happening may require more research and these are public documents that perhaps will increase each of our knowledges about the issues .
    Last edited by Refractingoptician.com; 02-09-2007 at 08:10 PM.

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    Master OptiBoarder mike.elmes's Avatar
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    Check out the Oh Brother thread for more on the great glasses Debacle.

  6. #6
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    More Trouble for Great Glasses



    10 Great Glasses sites facing WSIB charges

    By Steve Buist
    The Hamilton Spectator
    (Nov 1, 2006) The operators of 10 Great Glasses locations throughout the Golden Horseshoe are facing a total of 38 charges laid under the province's Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
    The charges, laid against a variety of individuals and corporations, are related to either failing to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within 10 days of becoming an employer, or failing to file payroll statements with the WSIB.
    The key issue revolves around the remittances employers have to make to WSIB for employees.
    Great Glasses franchises have taken the position that they do not have employees but instead are staffed by independent contractors.
    Eight of the WSIB charges were laid against operators of Great Glasses franchises in Hamilton, Burlington, St. Catharines, Cambridge, Brampton and Thornhill.
    Fifteen of the charges were laid against three corporations that are associated with the three original Great Glasses locations in Hamilton and Burlington and another 15 were laid against Joanne Bergez, who is a director of the three corporations.
    Joanne Bergez is the spouse of Bruce Bergez, the man who built the Great Glasses empire in southern Ontario.
    The Bergezes and the three corporations are facing a possible fine of $5 million if they are found guilty in a separate contempt of court case that was brought by the College of Optometrists. A decision is pending in the contempt case.
    The college is alleging that the Bergezes and the three corporations have been violating an earlier court decision from 2003 that ordered the chain to comply with Ontario legislation that governs opticians, optometrists and physicians.
    The Great Glasses operators indicated through Bruce Bergez that they would not comment on the WSIB charges.
    "They all request that we make no comment at this time, other than to state that each defendant awaits the full trial of the issues in order to utilize the courts to acquit themselves," said Bergez, who is acting as spokesman for the group.
    If convicted under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the maximum penalty against individuals is a $25,000 fine and up to six months in jail for each charge.
    For corporations, the maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 per charge.
    sbuist@thespec.com
    905-526-3226



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  7. #7
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    Angry He will appeal

    So yes a verdict was laid... but 1 mill? That is pocket change to this guy.
    I was at the court case last month and it took a lot to just sit there.
    I have strong passion for my profession and it really irritates me to see this guy abuse the system. Not to mention the stupid franchise owners who are operating their stores and listen to him. What is this some kind of cult???
    I am trying not to get excited about this because I know he will appeal and when he does we are back to square one. The stores are operating as normal 3 days later - so what did it change??? nothing yet. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to add you to a list for information. I am in contact with the Hamilton Spectator and others for details.
    I have also spoken to insurance companies who will now go after him for insurance fraud.
    Rx's can only be done by an professional for it to qualify for insurance AND a licenced optician can only sign those forms. As of now Bruce Bergez is NOT as optician as his license was revoked.
    :cheers: It's always noon somewhere!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by muucow View Post
    I am trying not to get excited about this because I know he will appeal and when he does we are back to square one.
    He may appeal, but I feel quite surely that the next court of appeal will simply review the transcripts and reject his petition. This is a pretty open and shut matter, in 2003 Burgez was ordered to comply with the RHPA, to my knowledge there has not been an apply to this decision, and now due to his beligerence Mr. Bergez has been found to be in contempt of the original 2003 decision. What is he going to do, try to prove that he has in fact been in compliance with the RHPA for the past three years, three years in which he openly violated the RHPA, claiming to serve the public interest with free eye exams? Even if he managed to single handedly change the scope of practice, as he seems to be telling reporters, he still has a one million dollar fine to pay.

    His appeal is not going to get very far, and when it is rejected he has three choices; pay up, serve the time, or go into hidding.

  9. #9
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    Last edited by Refractingoptician.com; 03-02-2007 at 12:51 AM.

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    Called myself

    Well I took the time to actually call a Great Glasses location today. They are open but admitted to not performing eye exams anymore. I pretended to be a past client and asked if there are opticians in the store at this time. The little girl told me that no we have technitions I asked her again... She again repeated and said we are not doing eye exams and therefore only require technitions. Then I said that I had spoke with the College of Opticians and they said you need opticians. Then I asked if they would also be selling drugs soon as an add on sale because seeing as they are already illegal they may as well get commision for bonus items.
    I have also contacted radio and newspapers asking to pull their ads and have sent the copy of the article in the paper to anyone I could think of.
    Guess it is time to take matters into my own hands.
    The college person involved is away until Monday.
    And Gary.... It's always noon somewhere......
    :cheers: It's always noon somewhere!

  11. #11
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    When people fall in love with money, they can fool themselves into believing they are fighting a just war. Bergez is a dangerous man.

  12. #12
    OptiBoard Professional Ory's Avatar
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    A fax from Bergez himself:

    http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/ob/st...-4394751c.html

    Great Glasses founder says ruling gives monopoly to optometrists




    Dec 2, 2006

    The Oakville Beaver contacted the Great Glasses 220 North Service Rd. location for comment on the recent court decision. One of the store's managers faxed the newspaper the following statement prepared by Bruce Bergez, the founder of the Great Glasses chain.

    * * *
    Thank you for your interest in this exceptional story.
    As a result of Justice Crane's order, Great Glasses has been restricted from using new technology in the form of the Eyelogic Sight Testing System to do an eyetest for the purposes of assisting people to buy glasses.
    The ultimate result of this is that a monopoly has now been created by The College of Optometrists of Ontario as the virtual sole provider of eyetests for eyeglasses and contact lenses.
    It is widely known that only a limited number of physicians provide eyetests for eyeglasses and contact lenses, as the College of Physicians and Surgeons directs their members to stay within their chosen scope of practice.
    Hence, optometrists now have an exclusive monopoly on the scope of practice of eyetesting for eyeglasses.
    The use of the courts to obtain this monopoly abrogates fully the intent of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). These comments have been stated about the RHPA;
    The RHPA was widely regarded as ground-breaking legislation.
    The RHPA replaces exclusive scopes of practice.
    One of the central concepts of the RHPA is the replacement of monopolistic or exclusive scopes of practice.
    People who use health services are the primary intended beneficiaries of the RHPA and thus it was intended that the RHPA, unlike the previous regulatory statute, would not unnecessarily limit consumer freedom of choice.
    The dispensing function for eyeglasses should be regulated consistently and provide no advantage, however slight, to one profession over another.
    There is no justification for establishing an uneven playing field whereby only one profession can be in the business of both prescribing and dispensing eyewear products.
    That the right of individuals is to obtain services from the health professions of their choice.
    We should encourage flexibility and encourage innovation in the provision of health services and allow professions to evolve as technology changes.
    What the College of Optometrists have imposed on the citizenry of Ontario is a reversal of years of effort on behalf of the Ontario Government and effectively forced everyone to buy an eyetest from them, at a cost of $80 to $100, when there is a safe, reliable, computerized alternative available to the public. When OHIP was paying optometrists for eyetests, the Government valued this service at $40. For years it has been done for free. How do you explain the increase that the average optometrist now charges to the citizens of Ontario? What will your cost be now that a monopoly has re-emerged?
    If I had the opportunity to properly elaborate on this subject, I could show you compelling evidence that the Ontario Government would have wanted the outcome to be different.
    The Ontario Government wants the consumer to have a choice in health services, and the Ontario Government wants to reduce the cost of health care to its citizens, including making the purchase of eyeglasses more affordable. This is what the Ontario Government means when they mandate that the College work in the public interest.
    From time to time, technologies do emerge that change industries. Would you, as a reporter, want to revert back to a day of the typewriter versus using your word processor?
    Great Glasses has always acted in the interests of the public, providing free eye tests, doing so seven days a week for your convenience, not requiring you to wait for an appointment, and offering three pairs of glasses for the price your optometrist charges you for one pair.
    Great Glasses still feels that an eyetest is a service you ought to have done for free, as an act of corporate benevolence. Great Glasses will be reimbursing everyone the cost of the future eyetest when you purchase eyeglasses from Great Glasses.
    Great Glasses will also be appealing the decision. Great Glasses will conform to the order.
    The appeal process must be respected.
    Thank you for your interest.
    Bruce Bergez

  13. #13
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    So has anyone besides me tried contacting the College? I have had no response so far and I have offered my services to volunteer as an inspector. Are we allowed to start protesting outside the malls that have a GGlasses store? Is anyone else as frustrated as I am about this.....
    I AM WILLING TO HELP THE COLLEGE TO STOP THIS MADDNESS!!!!!
    But I can't sit here while I still loose clients to an illegal operation?!?!?!

    :drop: any thoughts people????
    :cheers: It's always noon somewhere!

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    I am in the same position that you are. In Ontario you are allowed to picket or protest wherever you want just as long as the signs are truthfull they can't do anything. There is a group of Opticians an Optometrists that are going to launch a lawsuit for loss of business. They are going to target the individual owners of a store in each town.

    One of my employees hands out the article that Steve Buist wrote to the customers as they walk into the Great Glasses store in our town. She also puts it on the windshields of the cars in the parking lot.

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    registeredoptician Refractingoptician.com's Avatar
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    Last edited by Refractingoptician.com; 03-02-2007 at 12:50 AM.

  16. #16
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    the judge's comments in his decision are far more damning. Take some quotes from the judge's decision and put it on a 1 page sheet that can be handed out. That would probably have a greater effect in getting across your message.

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    I have been following the discussions regarding sight testing, and find the platform of the opticians who advocate sight testing quite alarming.

    As an optometrist I have seen many cases of serious ocular pathology in patients who were asymptomatic and correctable to 20/20. These include glaucoma (~20% of glaucoma patients never have an abnormally high IOP), active toxoplasmosis, melonoma, diabetic retinopathy (several patients were previously undiagnosed and their refraction was similar to the old glasses they brought to the exam), retinal detachments, retinitis pigmentosis, Coat's disease, etc, etc.

    I have also seen patients with previously undiagnosed brain tumours.
    I have seen a patient with Gardner's syndrome.
    Of course many patients with diabetes and HTN.

    In the vast majority of these cases, refraction alone would not have detected the condition.

    The argument that many opticians make is that they DO think an eye exam is important, but only every 5 years...wow.

    When is the last time someone gave you an accurate date of their last exam. Most people underestimate the time since their last exam, so 5 years may really be 7 or 10...who knows.

    I have even seen patients who wear glasses from a sight test who have NEVER had an eye exam.

    The sight testing issue in BC will be resolved politically. It is interesting to note that that Optometry and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in BC do not condone a refraction in the absence of a thourough eye exam. It is also interesting to note that these are the only groups medically educated.

    So sight-testing opticians, go ahead and believe whatever it is you want to believe. I, however, cannot imagine doing a simple refraction and sending my patients out the door....I could not sleep at night.

    Later,

    JP

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