Topic: Council fights to save Famous 5 on $50 bill  (Read 3803 times)
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« on: December 20, 2011, 04:38:16 pm »

Council fights to save Famous 5 on $50 bill

CALGARY - City council is often split on how to spend money, but on Monday they banded together with near unanimity on one cash-related question - what should be on the $50 bill.

Backed by council, Mayor Naheed Nenshi will write to Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, urging him to keep Alberta's Famous 5 on the $50 banknote and stop the image from being replaced by an icebreaker.

Ald. Richard Pootmans, the chief architect of council's move, noted the statues of Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby sit on the southwest edge of Olympic Plaza, a mere 100 metres from the doorstep of city hall.

"There is a rising sentiment across many cities in Canada that we do indeed want to see the Famous 5 kept on our $50 banknote," said Pootmans, who is married to Frances Wright, the former CEO of the Famous 5 Foundation.

The Famous 5 fought to change the political lives of women in Canada and took that battle to England's highest court, which ruled in 1929 that the legal definition of people includes women. In 2001, they were made a feature on the back of the $50 bill.

But Canada's central bank is preparing to launch a new high security polymer bill in March and the Famous 5 will be supplanted by the CCGS Amundsen, a research vessel that gives scientists access to northern Canada.

Those plans are not going to change, according to a Bank of Canada spokeswoman.

Julie Girard said the printing of new $50 banknotes has already begun and, starting in March, they will slowly replace the 169 million $50 bills currently in circulation.

Other bills are also seeing changes, and every new series since 1937 has brought with it a new theme on the back of the notes.

"We've had the privilege to feature the Famous 5 on the 50 for the last series and it was a very important piece of our history that we celebrated with our 50," Girard said. "Now, it's our opportunity to celebrate new things on our Canadian banknotes."

Last month, the bank released a $100 bill picturing a researcher at a microscope, an insulin bottle, DNA strand and electrocardiogram - all part of a medical innovation theme. It replaces the former exploration imagery of a canoe, a map created by Samuel de Champlain, and a satellite image of Canada.

The chairwoman of the Famous 5 Foundation said it's too late to reverse the $50 bill decision, but she does hope the attention will push the government to find future space on Canadian currency for female heroes and nation builders.

"Personally, I have sort of mixed views," Peggy Mann McKeown said. "I understand that these decisions are bigger than any one design, and I'm also disappointed that this was one of the results."

Ald. Gord Lowe was the only person on council who did not vote to ask the mayor to contact the Bank of Canada.

He said this part of the cyclical process to change themes on Canadian bills and he encouraged the Famous 5 Foundation to seek other ways of drawing attention to the women and their accomplishments.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 04:40:31 pm by suretteda »
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 06:56:12 pm »

I think a similar argument could be made for saving the hockey scene on the back of the 5 dollar bill.   I'd hate to see that go as well... :(


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