Canada will soon circulate a new $5 note.
That means new security features, a new design, and, most importantly, a new honourable Canadian. The current bill is adorned by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first francophone prime minister. Do we need a new face? The Governor of the Bank of Canada says we do.
“I can tell you today that we will soon be launching public consultations about who should appear on the new $5 note,” said Governor Stephen Poloz. “This will be similar to the public consultations that led to the selection of Viola Desmond for the $10 note.”
Desmond, the trailblazing civil rights activist, was chosen by Finance Minister Bill Morneau as the face of the $10 bill in 2018. She edged out four other women on the shortlist: E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill, Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld, Idola Saint-Jean. A year later, it was voted as the world’s best bank note by the International Bank Note Society.
So, who should grace the new $5 note? Twitter trends hinted at some early favourites: Terry Fox, Julie Payette, Gord Downie.
How about Tommy Douglas, The Greatest Canadian? Or the Famous Five? Here’s a wild card: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
I look forward to the vote.