The federal government plans to remove the tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products, effective July 1.
A notice of a motion to amend the Excise Tax Act says the move will apply to sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual cups and other similar products.
The NDP and others have been calling on the government to get rid of the so-called “tampon tax,” saying it unfairly targeted women.
Under the Excise Tax Act, the GST is typically applied to “luxury” items not considered essential to daily life. But in trying to get the tax eliminated, NDP MPs argued that tampons and pads are essential for most women of reproductive age.
Since January, more than 74,000 people have signed an online petition calling for an end to the levy on menstrual products.
Earlier this month, the NDP introduced a motion in the House calling on the government to exempt the products from the GST – a motion that the Conservative government said it would support.
NDP MP Irene Mathyssen, who spearheaded the fight to eliminate the tax, said Thursday that the removal will help “all women” across Canada.
“The women who made this an issue, their voices have finally been heard, and I’m so very grateful to them,” she told reporters.
Mathyssen also gave credit to female Tory MPs.
“I think it was the fact that Conservative MPs, the female MPs, in the government caucus were very clear that they didn’t like the unfairness that they as women had heard and understood,” Mathyssen said. “So this is a victory for all the women in the House of Commons.”
There have been several attempts since 2004 to pass a private member’s bill on the subject.
Earlier this year, a group calling itself Canadian Menstruators launched an online petition, asking the federal government to change the rules.
Some are hoping that the federal decision will prompt the provinces to reconsider their sales tax on menstrual products.
An aide to Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao says Quebec is still deciding whether it will follow suit. The Quebec sales tax is 9.975 per cent.