Free menstrual products will soon be made available at city facilities in Mississauga.
In a release Wednesday, the city said council members approved a motion to provide free menstrual products in the public washrooms of city-operated facilities.
“Nobody should experience period poverty,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“As a city, we feel it’s important to ensure that community members have equal access to the services and basic essentials they need when visiting our facilities,” she said in a statement.
Crombie said the motion will “help remove any cost barriers and stigma that may be attached to those who are unable to afford menstrual products.”
“We’ve researched this, and according to studies, approximately one-third of Canadian women under the age of 25 struggle to afford menstrual products,” Crombie said.
“In Mississauga and Peel Region, there is a noticeable gap to accessing these supplies and we are committed to changing this.”
A corporate report said the products will be made available in at least one universal and/or female washroom per city-operated, public-facing facility.
The city said this includes recreation facilities including:
- Community centres
- Golf courses and arenas
- Library standalone locations
- Select park washrooms
- Culture facilities, including the Meadowvale Theatre, Small Arms Inspection Building, Bradley Museum and Benares Historic House
- Paramount Fine Foods Centre
- Mississauga City Hall, Living Arts Centre, Central Library and Mississauga Celebration Square
- City-operated MiWay Transit Terminals at City Centre and Westwood Square
- Ontario Court of Justice
According to the release, the city has set a target to provide products at approximately 100 facilities by the fall of 2022.
Jodi Robillos, commissioner of community services, said the city’s aim is to ensure facilities and public spaces “support the needs of our residents,” adding that “providing free access to menstrual products to reduce period poverty is an important step forward.”
“As we begin implementation, we are committed to working with community partners like the Region of Peel, the school boards, food banks and others to ensure we are collaborating and aligned with our efforts for collective impact,” Robillos said in the release.
She said the types of products that will be available, service levels for restocking and maintenance “will vary,” as the city has a “variety of vendors” servicing the facilities.
“Additionally, we will be looking carefully at sourcing environmentally friendly sustainable products,” Robillos said.
In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for the city said the products will be purchased from “existing approved vendor contracts” in order to “get the products in facilities by the fall.”
“We are open to and will explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration but nothing confirmed at this time,” the email reads.