Merna Forster, author who helped convince the Bank of Canada to feature women on bank notes, visits Sudbury
Merna Forster was told it was 'premature' to put a Canadian woman on bank notes
For the past four years, Merna Forster has been lobbying the Bank of Canada to include the images on prominent Canadian women on bank notes.
After years of writing op-eds and letters to the Bank of Canada, Forster began a petition that picked up steam in 2013.
What was surprising to Forster was at first, the bank offered some questionable excuses for why it couldn't be done.
"[The bank said] it was premature to commit to women on bank notes," Forster said.
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Even her letters to Members of Parliament didn't draw much attention.
"I wrote a letter to every Member of Parliament," Forster said. "Only a handful of people answered."
But MPs changed their tone when they saw 73,000 signatures on her petition, Forster said.
An Angus-Reid poll conducted in May 2016 shows 80 per cent of respondents want women featured on Canadian bank notes.
Once the movement gained steam, the question turned from "should we feature Canadian women on bank notes?" to "who should we feature?"
To start the process, the Bank of Canada created an advisory council to solicit nominations for who should appear on the bills.
Forster sat on the council, which sifted through 26,000 submissions.
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After carefully considering and debating the submissions, the council selected a shortlist of 12 Canadian women who may be named to the bill.
The Minister of Finance has the final say on whose face will be represented. The Bank of Canada will issue the note in late 2018.
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