An internal Canadian Armed Forces communication shows a Toronto-area commanding officer threatening soldiers who are caught throwing out tampons in the men’s washroom with discipline and urging them to support the policy for the sake of transgender non-binary members of the forces. 

In the email leaked to True North, the Commanding Officer of the 4 CDSG Greater Toronto Area Detachment, Maj. Robert P. Ryan complains that “petty acts of protest” go against Canadian Armed Forces policy. 

As first reported by True North, as of Dec. 15, all federally regulated workplaces, including military bases, are required under the Canada Labour Code to stock menstrual products in men’s washrooms as a step towards promoting “inclusion.”

“We have already had several incidences (sic) where the menstrual products in the male washrooms have been maliciously thrown in the garbage,” Ryan warned in an email to his regiment.

“The petty acts of protest are simply wasteful and are only costing the taxpayer money as the items will need to be restocked.”

Ryan is also a member of the division’s Diversity Awareness Groups, specifically the Defence Advisory Group for Persons with Disabilities.

According to the commanding officer, Canadian Armed Forces members are expected to fully support the policy, as it promotes the inclusion of non-binary and transgender soldiers. 

“You may disagree with the decision of the Government of Canada on this issue, however, as professional members of the Defence Team you need to understand that you do not have a public opinion on government policy and are expected to fully support your fellow Defence Team members. We have members in the Garrison who are non-binary or have transitioned,” wrote Ryan. 

“Your actions are disrespectful to them and I would ask that you consider that when the urge strikes you to throw these products out again. Take time to reflect on how your actions affect others and the cost of what will happen if you are caught.” 

True North reached out to the Department of National Defence for comment and to ask what sort of punishments soldiers caught throwing out tampons would receive but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Since the policy was introduced, several bases have seen members throwing out the products in the garbage.