We received the following letter to the editor from Republic Now, a national organization whose stated mission is ‘to advocate for the replacement of the non-resident, British monarch as Canada’s Head of State with a democratically-selected, resident, Canadian.’
The Mint in Ottawa has issued its first Black History Month coin… featuring a white European on the front. Viola Desmond appears on the reverse side of this coin while a queen in England takes the obverse.
In 1946, Desmond fought for the right to sit in the whites-only section of a theatre in New Glasgow, N.S. Now, more than 70 years later, it’s galling that a tribute to her sees her placed on the backside of a coin while the front is reserved for whites—British royals only.
Desmond could have made history once again if her effigy appeared on the obverse, and that’s and not just because of her skin colour: no Canadian has ever appeared on the head of a Canadian coin.
It’s time historic Canadians took their rightful place on the front of our coins.
Well, what say you?