Addressing menstrual product poverty in the Tri-Cities

In 2020, The Tri-Cities began implementing free menstrual products in city locations during a four-month pilot project.

Good morning! It’s Morgan here with a special copy of your daily Tri-Cities Dispatch.

Today is International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the success women have made over time. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge! International Women’s Day is an opportunity to address the inequalities that women face on a local and global level. Keep reading to find out how local organizations are tackling menstrual inequality in the Tri-Cities.

B.C. Housing is currently partnering with local businesses to donate menstrual products in celebration of International Women’s Day. This is Me… Period was a campaign initially launched in 2018 to donate menstrual products to unhoused people on The Downtown East Side. The campaign has since spread to servicing locations throughout the entire province. 


Period poverty: It may be 2021, but talking about periods is still a pretty taboo subject. Period poverty is an issue that affects many but is seldom reported on. Menstrual products are one of the most requested items by people who are living in poverty and are also one of the least donated items. 

Tri-Cities initiatives: In 2019, a trio of students from Dr. Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam were upset with the city’s lack of access to menstrual projects. They proposed to the City of Coquitlam that something be done to address period poverty. 

In 2020, The Tri-Cities began implementing free menstrual products in city locations during a four-month pilot project. Due to the pilot project’s success, there are now multiple locations across the Tri-Cities that offer free menstrual supplies.

Families across B.C. are banding together to address mistreatment in long-term care homes. In the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. was praised for its handling of cases in long-term care homes. But with a second wave, we saw a significant increase in deaths in long-term care homes.  

Family matters: In 2017, Kate Cochlan was upset to discover that all of the staff were laid off in the Coquitlam long-term care home where her husband resides. It is important for the quality of care that staffing in these environments remains consistent. Cochlan formed a family council to provide family members and caregivers with a say in the treatment of those living in long-term care homes. 

Fighting for change: B.C.’s strict visitor restrictions are pushing more people to copy  Cochlan’s idea. But forming a council is not always easy – creating a council doesn’t mean the care-home providers will listen. Different family councils across B.C. are now banding together to have legislation changed. 

  • Seniors Advocate Isobelle Mackenzie: “These councils are unique to each care home and have no collective voice at the health authority or provincial level. This was a gap that existed prior to the pandemic but, as with many things, the pandemic revealed why it is a gap we need to close.”

A brighter future: As Canada approves a fourth vaccine, B.C. health officials are hopeful for the future. Unlike other vaccines, Johnson & Johnson will only require one dose. A one-dose vaccine can be distributed more broadly, making the vaccine an ideal candidate for long-term care facilities and pharmacies. 

  • Dr. Henry: “Maybe I’m too optimistic, but we’re going to be in our post-pandemic world by the summer if things continue to go the way that we want them to”.

Sense of security: 89-year-old Jim Peacock from Port Coquitlam recently received his full dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Peacock is advocating for other seniors to get vaccinated. Peacock says that one of the biggest benefits to being vaccinated was the sense of security he felt.

Happening Around Town

  • Taste of the Tri-Cities: From now until March 19 restaurants across the Tri-Cities are being showcased for a local food festival.
  • Creating Effective Resumes: This Thursday at 3 PM the Coquitlam Public Library is hosting a webinar on resume writing strategies. 
  • Family Trivia Night: This Thursday at 7 PM the Coquitlam Public Library will be hosting a virtual family-friendly trivia night. This trivia night will feature animal-themed questions. 
  • DIY Bath & Body Care: This Saturday at 1 PM the Coquitlam Heritage society will be hosting an online workshop on how to create bath products at home. Tickets are $15 and pre-made kits will be available for pickup at Mackin House, 1116 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam, B.C.

In Other News

  • People are divided over how to address those living in vehicles on Port Moody streets.
  • Teachers, dentists, and bus drivers are urging to be included in the province’s upcoming immunization schedule. 
  • Coquitlam’s T&T grocery store identified a case of COVID-19. The grocery store also reported a case of COVID-19 last December. 
  • A B.C. scientist is researching to see how we can make chocolate more sustainable

One More Thing

Hazel Trembath was an advocate for women’s rights in Port Coquitlam. She began her 42-year teaching career in 1924. Books were Trembath’s passion – so she made it her mission to bring literacy to young people. She eventually expanded the library at Viscount Alexander school from 2,000 books to 10,000 books.

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