Nanaimo city council asked for a staff report to look into options for providing free menstrual products in washrooms at city facilities. (Stock photo)

Nanaimo city council asked for a staff report to look into options for providing free menstrual products in washrooms at city facilities. (Stock photo)

City of Nanaimo will consider free pads and tampons in civic washrooms

City council votes unanimously to ask for staff report

The city is looking at options to provide free pads and tampons in washrooms at civic facilities as soon as the spring.

Coun. Don Bonner made the motion at Monday’s council meeting, asking staff to report on potential costs and options. He noted that the City of Nanaimo already supplies menstrual products free upon request at civic facilities.

Bonner wondered why his resolution was necessary and why the city wasn’t already providing the products in washrooms.

“I think this is timely and I think it’s important. These particular products are basic necessities that are required,” he said. “We provide toilet paper and also hand-washing products and paper towels and there shouldn’t be any reason why we’re not providing these.”

Coun. Zeni Maartman spoke in favour of the motion, suggesting more discreet distribution would offer “some dignity for women and for men,” and Coun. Erin Hemmens also supported the motion, saying, “God love you, Don.”

Hemmens said she doesn’t think menstrual products will be a high-cost item and Bonner said his research suggests it could be done for $25-30,000. Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools staff reported a year ago that 140 dispensers were expected to cost $100,000 the first year and $60,000 in subsequent years.

Richard Harding, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said the staff report would include options for council to choose the scope of the program.

Hemmens said there may be lower-cost options for the city to consider, such as leaving out baskets on counters in some locations.

Mayor Leonard Krog expressed reservations about potential costs.

“We’re talking about spending money on something which has never once been raised to me in 18 years in the B.C. legislature and two years as mayor by anyone as something we should be providing free in public facilities,” Krog said. “I just have to say, this is not, with great respect, a pressing matter.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe suggested that the options provided in the staff report shouldn’t commit the city to any particular decision on the subject yet.

“I would prefer a report that says, could we, should we, what’s it going to cost, how would it work,” he said.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district takes next steps in providing menstrual products



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City Hall

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
RDN Transit has sights set on busing to Cowichan Valley by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in the budget

Parking decals for motorcycles owned by riders with disabilities are now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Motorcycle decals now available in Nanaimo for disabled riders

Limited number of decals now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read