Today, Council approved a motion to provide free menstrual products in public washrooms at City of Mississauga-operated facilities; a step that is helping remove barriers while providing access to basic essential products.
“Nobody should experience period poverty. And 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,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Today’s 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. In Mississauga and Peel Region, there is a noticeable gap to accessing these supplies and we are committed to changing this.”
According to a corporate report, products will be available in at least one universal and/or female washroom per City-operated, public-facing facility. Facilities in the initial approach include:
· Recreation facilities including community centres, golf courses and arenas
· Library standalone locations
· Park washrooms in select locations
· Culture facilities, including 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
“Our aim is to ensure our community facilities and public spaces support the needs of our residents and providing free access to menstrual products to reduce period poverty is an important step forward,” said Jodi Robillos, Commissioner, Community Services. “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.”
The City has set a target of having products available in approximately 100 facilities by the fall of 2022. Community centres, libraries and arenas will be among the first to offer these free products.
Robillos added, “The types of products that will be available, service levels for restocking and maintenance will vary as we have a variety of vendors servicing our facilities. Additionally, we will be looking carefully at sourcing environmentally-friendly sustainable products.”
Learn more about this program and the facilities where these products will be available.