Feminine hygiene products

Should tampons be taxed? The organizers of a new online petition don't think so.

Currently, Canadians are paying GST on feminine hygiene products including tampons, pads and panty liners.

This is because, according to a new petition on Change.org, the federal government considers these products non-essential items or a luxury and slaps a 5% tax on them.

But as the petition organizer Jill Piebiak point out, "We all know that buying tampons, pads, moon/diva cups, or panty liners is not optional. These products are an essential part of a normal, public life for people with periods.

"To add insult to injury, items like incontinence products, cocktail cherries, human sperm, and wedding cakes are not subject to GST."

Tampon Tax Logo

The petition supports MP Irene Mathyssen's Bill C-282, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (feminine hygiene products). The bill is just the latest in a series of proposals to roll back the GST on these products over the past 15 years.

"Sign this petition and send a letter to our parliamentarians to show your support for Bill C-282 and that you disagree with this archaic taxation." Piebiak writes.

In terms of hard numbers, the Piebiak offers up some staggering figures.

"In 2014, it’s estimated that approximately 17,876,392 Canadian women between the ages of 12–49 spent about $519,976,963.00 on menstrual hygiene products.

"That means the government collected approximately $36,398,387.00 in government sales taxes because our uteruses did what they do naturally."

Piebiak's goal is to sign-up 50,000 supporters. So far, more than 48,000 people have added their names to the petition.

Thoughts on fighting the tampon tax? Join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Doug-Murray-Bio-NEW1.jpgDoug Murray is a journalist and traveller. Based in Vancouver, he's been to more than 50 countries and lived in West Africa, Mexico and Guatemala. Over the past decade, Doug has written for all of Canada's major media outlets (Global, CTV, CBC) and dozens of international publications on a variety of topics including travel, business and daily news. When not on the road, he's looking for the next best place to explore. Follow him on Twitter @borderfilms