Bank of Canada to make new $5 note, seeks public input on who should be on it

Canada’s central bank is planning to release a new $5 note, and it wants input from Canadians on what it should look like.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz announced the revamp at the end of a speech to a business audience in Vancouver.

Poloz says the bank will launch public consultations for the design of the polymer note, similar to the ones “that led to the selection of Viola Desmond for the $10 note,” he said. “This time we will be asking all Canadians to nominate any historic Canadian — someone who is truly banknote-able.”

Desmond, a Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer and businesswoman, was selected by the finance minister to be on the $10 bill after an open call for nominations for iconic women who could appear on a bank note. The new $10 note is also unique in that it is so far the only Canadian bill with a vertical design, as opposed to the conventional horizontal.

Currently, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first francophone prime minister who governed from 1896 to 1911, is featured on the $5 note.

Laurier has appeared on one side or the other of at least the past four versions of Canada’s $5 bill, dating back to the Scenes of Canada series which was released in 1969, through the Birds of Canada series launched in 1986, the Canadian Journey series launched in 2001, and the current Frontiers series polymer bill, which launched in 2011.

More details on the plan will be released at the end of the month, Poloz said.


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