WINNIPEG -- A Winnipeg city councillor is hoping to get free menstrual products in city-run facilities.

Coun. Vivian Santos has put forward a motion, asking the public service to create a report on how the city can provide free menstrual products in civic buildings.

Santos said she got the idea for this initiative from the province’s discussions on providing free menstrual products in schools.

“When that conversation was happening, I thought, ‘what are we doing at the municipal level?’ she said, noting that currently municipal buildings have dispensers for menstrual products, but they have to be paid for.

Santos said it is important to take these initiatives and have these conversations, because access to menstrual products is a barrier for many people.

“It’s a biological process that basically half our population goes through in our lives on a monthly basis,” she said.

“When you don’t have these products readily available, it does create a bit of a barrier for us.”

Santos said she wants her children to grow up and realize that menstruation is a normal, biological process.

“I want my kids to grow up in a society where they can talk about it and not be embarrassed by it,” she said,

She said her hope is that the public service will be able to provide options on how to make this initiative possible. 

“Whether that’s providing free menstrual products in civic buildings that only have civic employees, or do we want to look at civic buildings that are for pools, libraries, and community centres or do we want to look at all civic buildings?” she said.

Santos added that the motion was passed unanimously at a property, planning and development committee meeting this week. She’s asked for the report to come back in 60 days.

“From there, I’ll work with my standing policy committee to see where we want to take it next,” she said.

“Whether that’s doing a pilot project, whether that’s forwarding it on to the budget working group to add it to their budget in 2022, there’s a lot of things that can happen.”