New bank note will feature an iconic Canadian woman: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that an exceptional Canadian woman will be featured on the next new bank note, which he said is expected to be in circulation in 2018.

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“Today, on International Women’s Day, the Bank of Canada is taking the first step, launching public consultations to select an iconic Canadian woman on this new bill,” Trudeau said.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who said in January that he was open to the idea, explained Tuesday that he first wanted to check with Bank of Canada officials, who are supportive.

“As we know, women are and always have been instrumental in building our country, but it’s now been almost 150 years that we have not had a Canadian woman on our bank notes,” he said, “with the notable exception of the Queen.”

“We think it’s high time to change,” Morneau added.

The finance minister said he hopes the new note will give women “constant reminders that they are not only Canada’s future but a celebrated part of our history.”

Morneau encouraged all Canadians, female and male, to nominate an iconic women using the form on the Bank of Canada’s website.

The women nominated must be:

  • Canadian (by birth or naturalization)
  • have “demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.”
  • deceased for at least 25 years
  • and not fictional

Critics have long argued that Canada’s bank notes ought to have more women on them.

There was a widespread outcry in 2012 when the Conservative government of the day replaced a $50 bill that featured Alberta’s “Famous Five” women and feminist Senator Thérèse Forget Casgrain with an image of the Canadian Coast Guard research ship.


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