News Release Article from
Bank of Canada Issues $50 Polymer Bank Note
For immediate release
26 March 2012
Contact: Jeremy Harrison
Ottawa, Ontario — Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney today officially announced the new $50 polymer bank note’s entry into circulation, during an event at the Canadian Coast Guard’s Québec port facility. These new notes will be available at financial institutions from coast to coast to coast starting today.
Governor Carney was joined at the event by Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance; Marc Grégoire, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard; and Louis Fortier, Scientific Director of ArcticNet.
The front of the new $50 note features a portrait of Sir William Lyon Mackenzie King, while the back depicts the Arctic research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, in port during the ceremony, as well as other imagery that reflects Canada’s commitment to Arctic research and the development and protection of northern communities. Most importantly, the new $50 bill, like the rest of the polymer series, features a unique combination of state-of-the-art security features, making them the most secure bank notes ever issued in Canada.
“Just as the work of scientists on the Amundsen is expanding the frontiers of Arctic research, this new polymer series is expanding the frontiers of bank note technology,” said Governor Carney.
The Governor encouraged Canadians to familiarize themselves with these new features, the most prominent of which are two transparent areas: one that extends from the top to the bottom of the note and contains complex holographic features, and the other in the shape of a maple leaf.
“Counterfeiting rates have been reduced by 90 per cent since 2004. Issuing this new series of bank notes enables us to continue to stay ahead of counterfeiters,” Governor Carney said. “And by regularly checking the leading-edge security features on these new notes, Canadians can help protect themselves from counterfeiting threats,” he added.
Parliamentary Secretary Glover noted that much has been done in recent years to combat counterfeiting and maintain public confidence in Canada’s bank notes, which helps to avoid the detrimental impact that counterfeiting can have on the integrity of an economy.
“These new polymer notes represent an important part of this effort and a significant barrier to counterfeiting. The striking imagery of this new $50 bill reflects Canada's commitment to the North,” said Parliamentary Secretary Glover.
Commissioner Grégoire expanded on the note’s theme, saying, “Canada’s northern frontier has played an important role in the shaping of our national identity. And it is a true honour to have the CCGS Amundsen, Canada’s Arctic research platform, illustrated on the note in this, the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard.” He also spoke of how the Canadian Coast Guard’s partnership with ArcticNet provides the global scientific community with unprecedented access to research opportunities in the North.
With the $50 denomination being more frequently used in automated banking machines, Canadians were also reminded that each time a new series of bank notes is issued the equipment that processes and dispenses them may require adjustments or upgrades. The Bank of Canada has worked closely with financial institutions and manufacturers of bank note processing equipment to help them make this transition to polymer.
The $20 note will be issued later this year, with the remaining bank notes in the series – the $5 and $10 notes — to be issued by the end of 2013. The designs and detailed images of these notes will not be released until their official unveiling dates.
The themes of all of the denominations are:
$100 Medical Innovation — celebrates Canadian innovations in the field of medicine (Portrait: Sir Robert Borden)
$50 CCGS Amundsen, Research Icebreaker – reflects Canada’s commitment to Arctic research and the development and protection of northern communities (Portrait: Sir William Lyon Mackenzie King)
$20 The Canadian National Vimy Memorial – evokes the contributions and sacrifices of Canadians in conflicts throughout our history (Portrait: HM Queen Elizabeth II)
$10 The Canadian train – represents Canada’s great technical feat of linking its eastern and western frontiers by what was, at the time, the longest railway ever built (Portrait: Sir John A. Macdonald)
$5 Canadarm2 and Dextre – symbolize Canada’s continuing contribution to the international space program through robotics innovation (Portrait: Sir Wilfrid Laurier)
More information on the new polymer bank note series can be obtained by contacting Jeremy Harrison at 613 782-8782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bank note web pages
- Webcast of issue ceremony
- Video B-roll
- Bank of Canada Review article: “Paying with Polymer: Developing Canada’s New Bank Notes”
- Bank Note Launch (Speeches)