According to Statistics Canada, 0.1% of our military members identify as transgender and 0.2% of them identify as non-binary. Despite such low percentages, the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada has released the directive for all federal workplaces and military stations to have menstrual products “in all toilet rooms, regardless of their marked genders” by December 15th.
“This means that every female-identified, male-identified and all gender toilet rooms will need to have menstrual products. Unrestricted access to menstrual products better protects menstruating employees and makes sure that they feel safe to use the toilet room that best reflects their gender.”
“Employers must also make sure a covered container for disposal of menstrual products is provided. A disposal container must be placed in each toilet room that has one toilet. In rooms with multiple toilets, a disposal container must be in each toilet stall.”
According to True North, the policy for the menstruation kits has already been implemented in the Men’s bathroom of at least one Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) military base.
And that in addition to the Department of National Defence’s, Major Soomin Kim, confirming that the decision to implement the policy aligns “with federal government directives, emphasizing compliance with the Canada Labour Code” it’s also a measure that advances the Liberal governments commitment to “inclusivity.”
The progressive change to further “inclusivity” in our defences is one of a string of many.
In April of last year, Canada began “phasing in changes” so that all Defence Team members, civilian or military, are now evaluated based on whether or not they demonstrate “inclusive behaviours.”
“Inclusive behaviour is a key component of treating one another with dignity and respect, both of which build critical trust between team members. It’s not a new expectation of Defence Team members; however, previous performance management and assessment tools did not explicitly define or identify inclusive behaviours, leaving staff and supervisors alike unclear about what was expected” Bill Matthews, Deputy Minister of National Defence and General Wayne Eyre
Deputy Minister of National Defence Chief of the Defence Staff, wrote in a statement to promote inclusive behaviours within the Defence Team.
In August 2023, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) announced the launching of the Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) Defence Team Champion Program.
A series of senior leaders have since been appointed as EEDI Defence Team Champions, to “create a more inclusive environment” for women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, disabled people, official languages, and those who identify as 2SLGBTQI+ throughout the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Unlike with the military recruitment levels for the CAF, which lessened by 35 percent last year, some Canadians can now find comfort in knowing that tax-paid for menstrual products inside military men’s bathrooms, will be plentiful.
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