Saturday, 31 January 2015

Caroline vs. #NoTaxOnTampons

I've been having some trouble connecting my camera to my laptop and downloading my photos, so the post about Tokyo that was supposed to go up today will have to wait.

In the meantime, I want to bring your attention to an important issue for women and other menstruating people in Canada: the fact that we pay GST (goods and services tax) on menstruation products.  Pads, reusable pads, menstrual cups, tampons, everything.  In fact, according to the Government of Canada, all menstrual hygiene products are considered a non-essential item or luxury!  The GST has been lowered from 7% to 5%, but it still adds up: it is estimated that approximately 17,876,392 Canadian women between the ages of 12 and 49 spent about $519,976,963.00 on menstrual hygiene products in 2014 alone.

This week a woman from Toronto named Jill Piebiak started a petition to support Bill C-282, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (feminine hygiene products), a private member's bill that Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen introduced in October 2013.  As these bills are voted on only by MPs the number of signatures on this petition won't necessarily have a direct impact on the outcome of this bill, but they will show the government that this bill has a lot of public support.  The number of signatures is creeping up, but is still appallingly low for something that is so basic.  If you don't think those of us who menstruate should be taxed for a naturally-occurring biological and reproductive function, I urge you to show your support for Bill C-282 by signing the petition, or maybe even go a step further by writing to your Member of Parliament and to the other ministers listed on the petition page.  As Jill wrote, "Let's work together to remove this stain from our legislation."

More information on this can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and through the hashtag #NoTaxOnTampons



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