Coquitlam to offer free menstrual products in civic facilities
Posted in: New Initiative
Date Posted: 2019-11-08
Menstrual products will be free at five Coquitlam parks and recreation facilities for the next four months through a city pilot project.
Starting November 8, dispensers with free tampons and pads will be provided in women’s and universal washrooms at Town Centre Park, Mundy Park, City Centre Aquatic Complex, Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex, and Pinetree Community Centre.
The pilot, which runs until the middle of March 2020, is intended to reduce barriers to recreation and promote gender equity. It was triggered by a presentation to council in May by Dr. Charles Best Secondary students, who noted that British Columbia schools will be required to provide free menstrual products by the end of 2019.
During the city’s four-month trial, staff will regularly replenish the wall-mounted, push-button dispensers while tracking product use and dispenser condition. The city will conduct a public awareness campaign targeting the community and facility users, along with a survey to help gauge the pilot’s effectiveness and inform decision-making.
A report to council in spring 2020 will summarize the results and recommend next steps. Factors affecting the decision will include costs, public feedback, product quality, and dispenser quality, reliability, and placement.
The pilot is expected to cost $20,000 and will be funded by the existing Facilities Division budget.
The five pilot sites were selected to provide a representative sample of customers and locations.
In total, Coquitlam has about 72 women’s and universal washrooms in parks, community centres, civic buildings, and recreation centres. Rolling out the program to all sites would cost an estimated $35,000 for the dispensers and $25,000 per year for product and maintenance.
If you see or use the dispensers during the next few months, share your feedback in a survey at www.coquitlam.ca/menstrualproducts.