Women have been protesting the tax on tampons since the GST was introduced back in 1991 because “essential products” are supposed to be exempted from the GST. NDP MP Irene Matheson, London Fanshawe, first introduced her bill to eliminate GST on menstrual products in 2011. Another bill trying to eliminate this tax was introduced by the NDP in 2004. Because menstrual products are not considered essential, right now, the GST on menstrual products garners the government $36 million a year.

The No Tax on Tampons campaign has been gaining momentum and national attention. The petition has just shy of 74,000 supporters. On May 12, MP Irene Matheson introduced a motion about the tax on tampons, and it passed with all parties supporting the motion. Stephen Harper promised to repeal the tax in the next budget. The NDP wants the tax gone now. Sign the petition to keep the pressure.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets, signed petitions, written brilliant op-eds, offered testimony and submissions to the Committee on Public Safety, and basically made a difference in the fight against Bill C-51. When it was first introduced, the bill allegedly had 82 per cent of Canadians supporting it. This month, the Conservatives and Liberals voted for the bill and it passed. Now the bill is in the Senate and the Senators formerly known as Liberals have said that the majority of them will oppose Bill C-51. We need to build the pressure, on the Senate, and across the country for our civil liberties. So send a message to the Senate, and also join the rallies being planned in Ottawa and across the country on May 30. 

In Alberta, Rachel Notley and the NDP won a majority. This win happened with a ton of hard work. Our biggest problem is that when a person we consider an ally wins we stop organizing. The Conservatives (and Republicans in the United States) don’t stop organizing, so why do we stop and treat the new leader like a messiah? Download the NDP platform from the Alberta NDP website, see what it says and organize for what is important.  

One of the promises from the federal NDP and from the Alberta NDP is a $15 minimum wage. Let’s fight for that in every province, and for federal workers.  Endorse the campaign here.

It has been an amazing month. We have to keep on building and organizing, and build the movement. Don’t stop once you start winning!  


Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar has over 15 years of professional experience in such diverse areas as migration, labour, urban planning and community mobilization. She has a particular interest in grassroots engagement,...