Ontario and Shoppers Drug Mart are partnering to distribute free menstrual products to schools.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said it was an important step for the health and safety of students.
“Menstrual products are, of course, a necessity, not a luxury,” he said on Friday.
“For women and girls, making sure they have access to these products is critical to their health and successful participation within the school. But the reality is that some students cannot afford or access them, and this creates barriers. are born.”
Lecce said Ontario is taking steps to fight poverty together with British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Six million monthly products will be provided free of charge per year to school boards, which will then decide how to distribute them to their local schools.
Shoppers Drug Mart is donating all the pads — Lecce said tampons are not part of the program at this time.
Keith Babylon, president of the Ontario Student Trustees Association, says menstrual equality is a human rights issue and the declaration will help students become more involved in the community.
“No student should worry about whether or not they have access to the products,” he said.
“They already have a lot on their plates and their lack of access shouldn’t be a burden to them.”
The NDP praised the announcement, but said it should have come first and included tampons and menstrual cups.