'Tampon tax' will end July 1

The federal government is nixing the GST on feminine hygiene products, including tampons, starting July 1. The move comes much sooner than expected - all parties supported the NDP motion presented earlier this month, but the Conservatives said it would be addressed in a future budget.

The government tables motion Thursday to lift federal tax on feminine hygiene products

Lele Truong, Lareen Jervis and Mariana Hollmann, left to right, were on Parliament Hill earlier this month calling on the federal government to remove tax on feminine hygiene products. The government moved Thursday to lift the tax by July 1. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The federal government is nixing the GST on feminine hygiene products, including tampons, starting July 1.

The government tabled the change in a way and means motion on Thursday. The move comes much sooner than expected, as the Conservatives initially said it would be addressed in a future budget. 

In addition to tampons, the change will include sanitary napkins, sanitary belts and menstrual cups.

NDP MP Irene Mathyssen, who sponsored a private member's bill on the issue, was glowing Thursday following the government's announcement.

"This is a victory for all women. It shows what a group of determined women and citizens can do," said Mathyssen.

"The women who made this an issue, their voices have finally been heard."

Mathyssen attributes the government's expedited timeline to the thousands of signatures on written and online petitions calling for an end to the tax. Many have long complained it unfairly targeted women by applying to an item of necessity.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel wouldn't say why the move came today rather than in a future budget, as the government first suggested. Instead, she stayed on message, saying several times it is another example of the party lowering taxes. 

"I think this is just a very positive move for Canadian women and in alignment with our government's record in this regard," Rempel told reporters.

All parties supported the NDP motion presented earlier this month during one of the party's opposition days. However, the government was non-committal on when the change could occur. 

Following the vote, the New Democrats began demanding the government amend its budget implementation bill so the "tampon tax" could be removed immediately. The party has been trying to pass a bill to eliminate the tax since 2004.

Removing the tax is estimated to cost the government around $36 million.

Many took to Twitter to tweet their excitement Thursday, some calling it the best Canada Day gift all of time.

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