Council & Committees

Expectations for Council and Committee Members

Much of the work of the College is conducted by committees that are accountable to the Council. Council and committee members are expected to:

Understand and fulfill their role

  • demonstrate accountability through decision-making in the public interest;
  • understand the division of roles and responsibilities of the Council or committee and staff;
  • identify and address conflict of interest situations;
  • recognize and respect confidential information obtained in the course of College activities as required by Section 36 of the RHPA;
  • maintain constructive, collaborative and mutually respectful relations with Councillors, committee members and staff; and
  • maintain good relationships with members, healthcare organizations, educational groups and other stakeholders.

Possess the necessary knowledge

  • acquire and apply knowledge of Council and committee policies and procedures including relevant legislation, College values and strategic direction;
  • maintain knowledge of College functions and issues facing Council or the committees on which they participate;
  • review all material in advance of Council and committee meetings;
  • identify information needed to enhance Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
  • communicate concerns to Council or the committees on which they participate;
  • communicate Council or committee decisions and rationale to individuals and groups as requested by the College.

Effectively participate in decision-making

  • arrange their personal schedule to allow attendance at meetings;
  • contribute constructively to Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
  • maintain positive working relationships with Councillors, committee members, and College staff;
  • identify and attempt to resolve concerns with the committee chairpersons;
  • if the committee chairperson is unable to resolve the concern, address the concern to the College President;
  • contribute to decision-making by identifying to the Chair relevant expertise or contacts;
  • respect the specialized knowledge and expertise of other Council members, committee members and staff; and
  • identify issues to be added to the Council or committee’s agenda in a timely and appropriate manner.

Learn more about Council elections, which are held in the fall. Eligibility criteria are outlined in section 6.04 of the College by-laws.

The College Council

Council serves as the board of directors of the College and is responsible for making decisions and establishing policies that are in the public interest and consistent with legislation. Council helps ensure optometrists continue to provide safe, ethical and high-quality care to patients. To enhance our accountability, Council meetings are open to the public. Information about upcoming Council meetings can be found on the Upcoming Events & Important Dates page.

The Optometry Act sets out the composition of the College Council, with some flexibility: Council can consist of 16 to 18 members. Eight or nine Council members are optometrists (professional members) elected by their peers through regional elections. Seven or eight Council members are public members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council (Provincial Cabinet) to bring the public perspective to Council discussions. One Council member is appointed from the faculty at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. In addition to serving on Council, every Council member is appointed to at least one statutory committee.

Council Members

Eastern Electoral District

Dr. Lindy Mackey

GTA Electoral District

Dr. Camy Grewal
Dr. Abraham Yuen

Northern Electoral District

Dr. William Ulakovic, Vice President

Western Electoral District

Dr. Dino Mastronardi

Provincial Electoral District

Dr. Mark Eltis
Dr. Pooya Hemami
Dr. Areef Nurani, President
Dr. Richard Kniaziew

Faculty of University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science Electoral District

Dr. Lisa Christian

Members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council

Ms. Suzanne Allen
Ms. Kathryn Biondi
Ms. Lisa Holland
Mr. Bashar Kassir
Mr. Howard Kennedy
Mr. Narendra Shah
Mr. Olutoye Soile
Mr. Andre Tilban-Rios

College Committees

Committees are accountable to Council and are responsible for ensuring College policies are implemented and enforced.

Committees comprise both public and professional members. Public members are members of the public appointed by the Provincial Cabinet. Professional members include both Council and non-Council member optometrists. All committee members participate as full voting members of their committees and are expected to make decisions that reflect the College’s regulatory mandate to protect the public interest.

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) requires colleges to establish seven statutory committees. In addition, the College establishes non-statutory committees to help meet its mission and objects.

Statutory Committees

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee deals with matters requiring immediate action between Council meetings and coordinates an effective liaison with external stakeholders.

Members

Dr. Areef Nurani, President
Dr. William Ulakovic, Vice-President
Dr. Camy Grewal, Chair, Governance/HR Committee
Mr. Howard Kennedy, Chair, Audit/Finance/Risk Committee
Ms. Suzanne Allen, Member-at-Large

Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee makes formal decisions with regard to allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence made against an optometrist. Panels of the Discipline Committee will oversee the proceedings and have the authority to revoke, suspend, reprimand, fine, or impose terms on an optometrist’s practice if a finding is made.

Discipline Process

Members

Dr. Marta Witer, Chair
Ms. Suzanne Allen
Dr. Sarah Maciver
Dr. Leah Markin
Ms. Kathryn Biondi
Dr. Mohamed Moussa
Dr. Linda Chan
Dr. Lisa Christian
Dr. Brooklyn Roca
Dr. David White
Dr. Mark Eltis
Dr. Camy Grewal
Dr. Vivian Habib
Dr. David Traynor
Mr. Bashar Kassir
Mr. Howard Kennedy
Dr. Debbie Yeh
Dr. Lindy Mackey
Dr. Karin Schellenberg
Dr. Areef Nurani

Mr. Olutoye Soile
Dr. Karin Simon
Mr. Narendra Shah
Dr. William Ulakovic
Dr. Pooya Hemami
Dr. Abraham Yuen
Mr. Andre Tilban-Rios
Dr. Manveen Bedi
Dr. Mandip Gill
Dr. Jup Grewal
Dr. Shirley Ha
Dr. Ema Hazra
Dr. Patricia Hrynchak
Dr. Natalija Ilic
Dr. Roshanak Joulaie
Dr. Garima Khanna
Dr. Naomi Kong
Dr. Melanie Laferriere
Dr. Harninder Sandhu
Dr. Olga Savitska

Fitness to Practise Committee

The Fitness to Practise Committee is an adjudicative body that holds hearings to determine whether an optometrist is suffering from a mental or physical condition/disorder that may interfere with their ability to practise optometry, and decides what action is necessary to protect the public.

Members

Mr. Narendra Shah, Chair
Dr. Abraham Yuen
Dr. Jay Mithani

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC)

The Inquiries Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), formerly the Complaints Committee, is responsible for investigating complaints made about optometrists’ conduct and/or care provided, as well as making final decisions regarding complaints, Registrar investigations, and inquiries into an optometrist’s capacity.

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Processes

Members

Dr. Richard Kniaziew, Chair
Dr. Dino Mastronardi, Co-Chair
Ms. Kathryn Biondi
Mr. Bashar Kassir
Mr. Howard Kennedy
Mr. Narendra Shah
Dr. Jenna Astorino
Dr. Ema Hazra
Dr. Angela Kyveris
Dr. Mohamed Moussa

Quality Assurance Committee

The Quality Assurance (QA) Committee assists optometrists in providing quality optometric care to their patients. The Committee is responsible for assessing optometrists’ professional practice, evaluating clinical ability and articulating standards of practice. Given the scope of its work, the Committee works in panels: the Quality Assurance Panel, which oversees and ensures compliance with the QA Program, and the Clinical Practice Panel, which articulates and clarifies new and existing standards of practice and regulatory requirements.

Quality Assurance Panel

Members

Dr. Mark Eltis, Chair
Dr. Camy Grewal
Dr. Pooya Hemami
Mr. Andre Tilban-Rios
Dr. Larry Ng
Dr. Nadine Furtado
Dr. Patrick Quaid

Clinical Practice Panel

Members

Dr. Lisa Christian, Chair
Dr. Lindy Mackey
Ms. Suzanne Allen
Dr. Manveen Bedi
Dr. Bill Chisholm
Dr. Wendy Hatch
Dr. Negar Sohbati

Registration Committee

The Registration Committee is responsible for ensuring a fair, transparent and objective entry-to-practice process for optometry in Ontario. The Committee reviews applications to ensure individuals meet minimum criteria before being registered to practice in the province.

Registration Process

Members

Dr. William Ulakovic, Chair
Dr. Lisa Christian
Dr. Abraham Yuen
Mr. Howard Kennedy
Mr. Olutoye Soile
Dr. Patrick Quaid

Patient Relations Committee

The Patient Relations Committee (PRC) oversees a program that promotes awareness of and includes measures to prevent sexual abuse of patients. The PRC also administers a fund for therapy and counselling for patients who have been sexually abused by an optometrist. The PRC reviews issues issues of an ethical nature that occur in professional practice and develops education and information program for the public and optometrists.

Members

Ms. Suzanne Allen, Chair
Dr. Lindy Mackey
Mr. Bashar Kassir
Mr. Olutoye Soile
Dr. Lianne Cousineau
Dr. Vanesh Kathiravelu
Dr. Yuan (Mike) Yang

Standing Committees

Audit/Finance/Risk Committee

The Audit/Finance/Risk (AFR) Committee reviews and advises Council on the College’s financial affairs, including the investment strategy, auditor review and financial planning. The Committee also oversees the College’s overall risk management framework.

Members

Mr. Howard Kennedy, Chair
Dr. Mark Eltis
Dr. Lindy Mackey
Dr. Abraham Yuen
Mr. Andre Tilban-Rios

Governance/HR Committee

The Governance/HR Committee is responsible for development, implementation and review of governance and human resource policies and processes. The Committee ensures recruitment strategies, performance evaluation and succession planning are maintained to secure strong and balanced leadership for the College.

Members

Dr. Camy Grewal, Chair
Dr. Pooya Hemami
Dr. Richard Kniaziew
Ms. Kathryn Biondi
Mr. Narendra Shah

Working Groups

Research Steering Group

Developed out of the Executive Committee, the Research Steering Group oversees a granting program that provides funding for innovative and mandate-relevant research.

Dr. William Ulakovic, President
Dr. Areef Nurani, Vice-President
Mr. Andre Tilban-Rios, Council Member
Dr. Kenneth Olsen, Researcher-at-Large