Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Keep Canada's Currency Current, Showcasing Faces Other Than Queen and Prime Ministers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Keep Canada's Currency Current, Showcasing Faces Other Than Queen and Prime Ministers

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Keep Canada's currency current, showcasing faces other than Queen and prime ministers

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published March 16:

Since ancient times, the coins of nations and empires have borne the likenesses of their most esteemed leaders -- kings and queens, emperors and empresses, men and women of power and prestige who symbolized the pride and authority of their state.

Canada has long followed this tradition and today features on its currency not only the likeness of its current monarch but portraits of arguably its four most important prime ministers.

Yet except for Queen Elizabeth, who appears on our coins as well as our $20 bill, the faces on those other banknotes are exclusively male. It's time for a change, and we applaud the federal government and the Bank of Canada for deciding to feature the image of an iconic Canadian woman on the next issue of bank notes, which are expected in 2018.

To call for a new face is no slight to any of the individuals who until now have been honoured on the currency. Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Robert Borden and Kitchener's own William Lyon Mackenzie King earned the pride of place they have held for many years. So has the Queen who, after all, has been our head of state for more than 60 years.

Yet there is a strong argument for making our paper currency more reflective of this country, its history, heritage and people -- half of whom have been and are female. The challenge now facing the country, and it should be a welcome one, is to find the woman who will be on one of the next bank notes.

The Bank of Canada is wisely and appropriately accepting nominations on its website until April 15. The nominees can be any Canadian woman, either by birth or naturalization, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field and has been dead at least 25 years. …

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