Victoria to offer free menstrual products at city hall, fitness centre washrooms

VICTORIA — The City of Victoria says it will make free menstrual products available starting this year at various civic facilities, including city hall, fitness centres and public washrooms.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the city is proud to be the first municipality in the province to partner with the United Way on its Period Promise campaign.

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She says the city knows that not having access to feminine hygiene products can be a risk to people's health and is socially isolating.

The B.C. government announced in April that all provincial public schools will be required to provide menstrual products for students in school bathrooms by the end of the year.

A growing number of organizations in Canada are bringing in free products policies, including the Waterloo Regional District School Board in Ontario and public library branches in Halifax.

The federal government said last month that workers in federally regulated workplaces should have access to such products for free, and that they should be categorized similarly to toilet paper, soap, warm water and a way to dry one's hands.

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