In a rare move in favour of an opposition party initiative, the Conservative government said it will be supporting the NDP’s motion to remove the GST from feminine hygiene products.
Minister for the Status of Women Canada Kellie Leitch made the announcement over Twitter Friday after the House of Commons had spent about an hour debating the NDP’s opposition day motion calling for a menstrual product GST exemption.
— Dr. K. Kellie Leitch (@KellieLeitch) May 8, 2015
But that isn’t good enough for some:
New Democrat Niki Ashton urged action now, not in a budget yet to come.
“That kind of support is not good enough,” Ashton said during the Friday debate.
Removing the tax isn’t a complex matter, she added.
“We’re talking about a very easy, simple act, here.”
Several NDP MPs also rose in the Commons Thursday to present formal petitions requesting an end to the tax; removing it has been estimated to cost the government $36 million.
Tabling a petition in the House means the government must issue a formal response within 45 calendar days.
Supporters of the plan argue that it makes no sense for menstrual products to be subject to a tax, noting they are essential goods, not luxury items.
There’s no sales tax charged on cocktail cherries, wedding cakes, incontinence products or Viagra, they note, but all Canadian women must pay tax on a product they use every single month for close to 40 years.
“This is an non-optional tax that’s borne by only half the population,” said Kathleen Fraser, one of the women behind the online petition.
“It’s a tax based on biological characteristics and though it may seem like small change, it’s a tax that places an unfair burden on women, trans people and other menstruators.”
Trans women menstruate? Who knew?
This is what progressives consider a priority…
And naturally, the ‘Conservatives’ are only too eager to at least appear to agree…