Small-town B.C. mayor proposes $5 coin

The mayor of a small B.C. town north of Kamloops, Ward Stamer hopes to see the country issue its first $5 circulation coin with a theme honouring Canada’s Indigenous communities.

Stamer, the mayor of Barriere, B.C., is currently seeking the federal Conservative Party nomination for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding, which includes Barriere plus nine other census subdivisions. On Stamer’s campaign website, he suggests a new $5 coin to replace the currently circulating banknote of that denomination, with the new coin commemorating various Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as part of National Indigenous History Month (held each June).

“The thought occurred to me that a way to recognize Canada’s Indigenous Peoples would be to replace the 5 dollar bill with a $5 coin,” Stamer writes on his website, where he also posted his concept design.

The proposed coin features an Indigenous-themed motif surrounding a cut-out maple leaf in the centre near a 2021 year-date, with the words “CANADA” and “FIVE DOLLARS” along the right rim.

“It symbolizes the diverse cultural traditions of indigenous peoples and symbolizes our commitment to reconciliation and a better understanding of First Nations values,” Stamer writes, adding coins “have a longer lifespan than paper notes and are less expensive to produce.”

While coins can last more than a decade, modern polymer notes “can’t match that sort of longevity,” according to Bank of Canada Museum curator David Bergeron and writer Graham Iddon in their February 2019 article, “The Coming of the Toonie.”

“Although minting a coin costs far more than printing a note, the coin option is definitely more affordable when you consider the cost of printing 10 notes for every coin,” add the authors.

Stamer, the Barriere mayor since 2018, claims to have spoken to several people, including from Indigenous communities, who support his proposal, for which he’s now seeking public opinion by asking, “Is now the time to introduce a new $5 coin in Canada?”

1 Comment

  • SeanCoinMan says:

    I have always thought that if we ever to change to a circulating $5 coin, we should combine two concepts into one: bimetallic coins and clad coins. Essentially, use the principles of a clad coin (think of how U.S. coins are made like a sandwich), but make it bimetallic. This means that one side of the coin would be ‘silver’ and the other side would be ‘gold’. This also creates the possibility of two varieties every year, without any way of determining which side is which during striking.

Leave a Reply

Canadian Coin News


Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $59.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.