Winnipeg is studying whether or not it should provide free menstrual products in its civic facilities for “menstruating individuals,” a new report reveals.

The 10-page document by the city’s administration was submitted to the city’s Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development for consideration on June 8, 2021. 

“Access to menstrual products has been deemed a basic human right. However, for various social, cultural,and financial reasons, they may not be easily accessible to menstruating individuals, creating an unfair disadvantage in their daily lives,” reads the report. 

“Furthermore, when these products are available for free, the dignity of menstruating individuals can improve, along with their physical and psychological well being.”

The document goes on to recommend that a one-year Free Menstrual Product Pilot Project be implemented at “civic recreational and library facilities.” The project is expected to cost an estimated $58,500, the report notes. 

The locations currently proposed as sites for the pilot project include Millennium Library, Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, Seven Oaks Pool, Freight House/Central CC, Elmwood Kildonans Pool and Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre. 

Several submissions in support of the initiative also make reference to politically correct terms like “people who menstruate” instead of simply “women.” 

One letter by Mount Carmel Clinic Executive Director Bobbette Shoffner makes no mention of the term “women” whatsoever.

“We are writing to you today to share our support for the pilot project to get free menstrual products into our civic facility washrooms to reduce barriers for people who menstruate,” writes Shoffner. 

Another submission by Nine Circles Community Health Centre Executive Director Michael Payne insists that the pilot program recognize that not only women menstruate. 

“The pilot program must recognize not only just women menstruate but also many trans, intersex, non-binary and two-spirited people do too, and the program must be accessible to those populations in a stigma-free location,” writes Payne.

As previously reported by True North, a similar motion before the Toronto District School Board made no reference to women and only mentioned “people who menstruate.”

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