Petition fights to have women depicted on Canada's banknotes

A petition to include women on Canada’s banknotes is approaching its goal of 50,000 signatures.

The petition on calls for the Bank of Canada to be more inclusive with the faces it shows on its money. Currently, the only woman shown on Canadian bills is Queen Elizabeth, aside from an illustration of a nameless scientist on the $100 bill.

The petition description points out that the last version of the $50 bill, which featured the Famous 5 and Therese Casgrain, was replaced by an image of an icebreaker when Canada's new polymer bank notes were introduced.

"We call on 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," petition organizer Merna Forster says in the description.

"Bank notes that belong to all Canadians should depict a wider range of Canadians, of both genders as well as various ethnic origins," Forster adds. "An all-male line-up on bank notes is not acceptable in Canada."

Forster's petition urges the Bank of Canada to follow the lead of Australia, where most of their bills feature a man and a woman on each one.

As of late Wednesday, the petition had reached 48,899 signatures.

Forster points out that in Britain, the Bank of England recently overturned a decision to remove social reformer Elizabeth Fry from its £5 bank note after more than 35,000 people signed a petition against the move. Instead, the country moved to add author Jane Austen's image to its £10 bills.

"British journalists such as Danica Kirka praised the decision as 'a sign that there is plenty of pride and little prejudice against women on the country's currency,'" Forster says. "Can the same be said in Canada, or are we to assume that the approach of the Bank of Canada indicates plenty of prejudice and little pride in Canadian women?"

Canada's current generation of bank notes -- the first to be printed on polymer -- include the face of a prominent figure on one side, and an image of a significant Canadian achievement or creation on the other. Former prime ministers Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir John A. MacDonald, William Lyon Mackenzie King and Sir Robert Borden appear on the $5, $10, $50 and $100 bills, respectively. The Queen appears on the $20 bill.

Significant achievements depicted on the bills include the CanadArm2, the 'Canadian' passenger train, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, the CCGS Amundsen research icebreaker and the invention of insulin.

This article was originally written by Josh Elliott and published November 12, 2014 in the

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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