B.C. author ‘thrilled’ historic Canadian woman will soon appear on bank notes

Victoria historian Merna Forster celebrates women on currency



The portrait of an iconic Canadian woman is set to appear on a new series of bank notes, and a Victoria historian says it’s about time.

Merna Forster has been writing letters to politicians and Bank of Canada governors for years saying that it is unacceptable not to have a single bill featuring the image of a female figure from the country’s history.

Her campaign includes an online petition launched in 2013, which has since collected more than 73,000 signatures, and an interactive website that allows people to suggest which woman they would like to see on a bank note.

The Queen is currently the only woman featured on Canadian currency and Forster says she was thrilled to hear the government announce that will change in 2018.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the search is on to determine which historic woman should be featured on a new series of bank notes.

Forster, a Victoria-based author of two books on Canadian heroines, said she was in a state of disbelief.

“I must admit that I was getting discouraged, but I knew it was important and I couldn’t give up,” she said.

Still, Forster never imagined the fight to memorialize Canadian women on the country’s money would take this long.

“It’s just not right,” she said. “Women hold up half the sky. Why don’t they hold up half the bank notes?”

Other countries, including Australia, Japan and Colombia, have long had famous females on the currency, she said.

The Bank of Canada is now asking the public to nominate women deserving of the recognition through the bank’s website.

Each nominee must be a Canadian woman who demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.

They cannot be fictional, and must have been dead for at least 25 years.

Picking a single woman will be the hardest part, Forster said. Over the years, she has received more than 400 suggestions, including everyone from suffragette Nellie McClung to singer Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Personally, Forster doesn’t know who she’d choose, but she said she’s hoping to see someone who represents Canada’s diversity.

Just Posted

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Leaving dog in hot car can result in $75,000 fine, prohibition from owning animals, prison

B.C. SPCA received 800 calls last year about dogs left in hot cars

Radio Host Erin Davis pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by North Saanich woman gives advice to others struggling with grief

Bed Races on Beacon champs ready to defend their title

Race takes place July 7 on Beacon Avenue, raising funds for the Peninsula Youth Clinic

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read