FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that period products are now available for free at libraries across the province.

“Our public libraries are well positioned to offer these items as they serve a diverse population in both rural and urban locations, including individuals facing financial challenges,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Arlene Dunn. “We are pleased that our government’s recent budget commitment will allow the libraries to provide these products to people in need.”

“Recent data suggests that a significant portion of women and gender diverse people in this province are having to choose between paying for period products or food and rent,” said Sherry Wilson, minister responsible for Women’s Equality. “Barriers to accessing these products can interfere with many aspects of life, so we are incredibly proud of this initiative.”

The items will be available in the washrooms of all 63 public libraries, and people who menstruate are encouraged to take what they need.

“Libraries are critical community hubs that offer a variety of programs and services,” said Ella Nason, executive director of the New Brunswick Public Library Service. “We are very proud to add these products to our service offerings and join other Canadian jurisdictions in helping to ensure ready access to these needed products.”

Going forward, the initiative will be included in the regular operating budget of the New Brunswick Public Library Service.

“As co-founders of the UNB Menstrual Health Society, Caroline Stephen and I believe this is a step in the right direction, and we hope it inspires further advances in menstrual product accessibility in New Brunswick,” said Kate Palmer, co-founder of the society.