Public can nominate ‘iconic’ Canadian woman for next banknote

An ‘iconic’ Canadian woman will finally be featured on a Canadian bank note.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced March 8 that the Bank of Canada is undertaking a broad public consultation to select a Canadian woman to be featured on the first bank note of its next series. This new note will be issued in 2018.

“In our country’s nearly 150 year history, women, with the notable exception of the Queen, have largely been unrepresented on our bank notes,” said Morneau. “In 2018, we will bring real change to a new generation of women who will carry with them constant reminders that they are not only Canada’s future, but a celebrated part of our history.”

The announcement is good news for Merna Forster of Victoria, B.C., who launched an online petition calling for the Bank of Canada “to add women from Canadian history to our bank notes as soon as possible, and announce that all future series will feature females as well as males.” As of March 9, the petition had 73,083 supporters.

The bank is inviting the public to nominate women who they feel are deserving of this recognition.

“I am delighted that an iconic Canadian woman will be featured on a bank note,” said Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz. “Bank notes are cultural touchstones, and can be used to celebrate and reflect the diversity of our society. With this new note, we can honour the achievements of Canadian women and inspire future generations to learn more about the significant contributions women have made to our country.”

From now until April 15, 2016, all Canadians can visit the Bank of Canada’s website to submit their nomination.

The bank’s nomination criteria are as follows:

  • The nominee can be any Canadian woman (by birth or naturalization) who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.
  • The nominee must not be a fictional character.
  • The nominee must have been deceased for at least 25 years (before April 15, 1991).

At the end of the nomination period, an independent advisory council composed of eminent Canadian academic, cultural and thought leaders will then review the submissions. With the help of subject matter experts and additional consultation with the public, the advisory council will develop a short list of qualifying candidates for submission to the finance minister.


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