Margaret Atwood backs petition calling for women on bank notes
Published Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:49PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 18, 2013 2:59PM EDT
Margaret Atwood appears to be on a bit of roll when it comes to promoting the role of women in Canada.
Last week, the celebrated author backed an effort to adopt more gender-inclusive language in the lyrics to 'O Canada' by replacing the words "in all thy sons' command." Now, Atwood wants to see women returned to our Canadian dollar bills.
On Wednesday night, Atwood issued a single tweet offering her support to an online petition addressed to Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz that calls for images of prominent Canadian women be added back to our dollar bills.
"Bank of Canada," Atwood wrote, "Add women from Canadian history to Canadian bank notes."
An anonymous woman is currently depicted on the new $100 polymer notes.
Historian Merna Forster, who created the online petition, said the bank notes should feature distinguished Canadians of both genders.
“Women are 50 per cent of the population, we’ve had notable contributions in Canadian history just as men have,” she said in an interview with CTV News.
The petition was sparked after the Bank of England announced that famed British author Jane Austen will be featured on the 10-pound note.
Many Canadians may not have noticed, but in 2011, an image of suffragette campaigners The Famous 5 and Therese Casgrain was quietly replaced with an image of an icebreaker when the Bank of Canada began issuing new polymer bank notes.
At the time of the change, the petition notes, then-Bank Governor Mark Carney stated that: "Our bank notes belong to all Canadians, and the work we do at the Bank is for all Canadians."
In the petition, Forster argues if bank notes are to belong to all Canadians, they "should depict a wider range of Canadians, of both genders as well as various ethnic origins."
"Who and what is celebrated on our bank notes matters, as it reflects what we consider important in our culture and history and who we consider worthy of honouring for achievement," the petition reads.
It adds that "an all-male line-up" on bank notes is "not acceptable" in Canada and urges the Bank of Canada "to add women from Canadian history to our bank notes as soon as possible, and announce that all future series will feature females as well as males."
The Bank of Canada said the new bank notes were developed after consulting Canadians, but they will be reviewing their design process.
So far, the petition has received more than 6,000 signatures.
With a report from CTV News’ John Vennavally-Rao