Veterans honoured on new $20 polymer bank note
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2012 9:07PM EDT
Canada's most commonly used bank note has undergone a plastic makeover.
An image of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial is featured on the nation's new $20 polymer bill, formally revealed by the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday.
The bank note is intended to pay tribute to Canadian men and women who have served in military conflicts. It also includes an updated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Until now, Canadians have only been privy to the design of the BoC's new $100 and $50 notes, which were released in November 2011 and March respectively.
While high-rolling types and curious Canadians alike were keen to get their hands on the larger polymer bills, it's the $20 note that's most likely to line wallets. From coast to coast, the bank note is the country's most commonly circulated denomination.
The popularity of the $20 bill makes it a target for counterfeiting, a practice the BoC intends to battle with its entire polymer bank note series.
"The Bank's goal is to maintain Canadians' confidence in our money as a secure means of payment," said BoC Governor Carney in a prepared statement issued after the unveiling. "This new $20 note fits the bill."
Like its plastic predecessors, the synthetic $20 bill will include holographic security areas, raised ink and metallic images printed on a transparent window. The RCMP has lauded the new security figures as an important step against bogus bill production, though the practice has declined in recent years.
The synthetic bill series has proved to be somewhat frustrating for consumers and small business owners who say the new design makes it undetectable in some counters and ATMs, a concern that may grow when the new $20 bill enters circulation later this year.
While the BoC says it's been working with ATM vendors to "facilitate a smooth transition to polymer notes," the focus of Wednesday's news conference was solely the slick appearance of the new bill.
The image of the Vimy Memorial, a monument in France that commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, is featured on the back of the bill.
In a statement, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty noted the battle is "often described as Canada's ‘coming of age' as a nation."
The $20 bill is expected to be tossed into circulation later this year. Remaining denominations -- $5 and $10 -- will be released by the end of 2013.