Tampons and sanitary napkins are now available in men’s bathrooms at the Canadian Parliament under a new policy from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that requires all federally-regulated employers — including airports and military bases to offer free menstrual products in all washrooms, regardless of gender noted on the door.
News of the policy change spread last week after former Canadian Conservative Sen. Linda Frum posted a photo of a basket offering free pads and tampons inside a men’s bathroom for transgender members of Parliament.
“Back in the day, when only women menstruated, we had to pay for our own products. But now that men menstruate too, these products, as of this week, are mandated to be free in all men’s washrooms in all federal workplaces, including Parliament Hill — where this photo was taken today,” Frum posted on X.
An anonymous account called @HOCstaffer (for the House of Commons) later confirmed the report.
“They’re also going to build dispensers for all the tampons which won’t be used since 1) men don’t menstruate and 2) they are just going to bring them home to their wives for free,” the anonymous account argued.
Under the change to the Canadian Labour Code, which was originally announced in May but finally went into effect on Dec. 15, “menstrual products must be in all toilet rooms regardless of their marked genders.
“This means that every female-identified, male-identified and all gender toilet rooms will need to have menstrual products,” the regulations posted to Canada’s Employment and Social Development website say.
“Unrestricted access to menstrual products better protects menstruating employees and makes sure that they feel safe to use the toilet room that best reflects their gender.”
It is up to each employer to find the funding necessary to purchase these products and disposal containers.
In a statement, Trudeau’s government said that “providing employees with access to menstrual products supports better health outcomes and workplace productivity while reducing the stigma often associated with menstruation.”