Québec solidaire (QS) is reiterating its desire for the provincial government to make contraception free. The party is taking its cue from B.C., where contraception will be made free for all as of April 1.

The western province has earmarked $119,000 in funding over three years (just under $40,000 a year).

QS estimates the measure would cost Quebec $48,000 per year, but believes the savings from fewer unwanted pregnancies would more than offset this investment.

"It's a question of dignity," said QS spokesperson Manon Massé in an interview.

She said making birth control free would allow women to choose the contraceptive method that suits them best.

"Not all contraceptive methods are covered in whole or in part by the Régie de l'Assurance maladie du Québec," she said.

At the moment, "it's as if contraception were a consumer good like everything else," she said, arguing that Quebec "is rich and feminist enough" to take this burden off women's shoulders.

QS also wants free menstrual products to be distributed in public places like schools and arenas, as Scotland has done since 2020.

"Economically, it's a burden on women's wallets," said Massé, who says some women must choose between using toilet paper or even missing classes because they don't have the funds to buy sanitary products.

Health Minister Christian Dubé's office did not immediately respond to requests from The Canadian Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 5, 2023.