At the beginning of January, Bank of Canada Governor Steven Poloz announced that they were planning to redesign the look of the $5 bill, and that the Bank of Canada would be launching public consultations for who Canadians would like to see on the new $5 note, this process is similar to the one used to select civil rights activist and businesswoman Viola Desmond for the $10 note, which was launched in 2018.
Currently, the $5 note features former Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier on one side, and a tribute to Canadian robotics innovation with a depiction of the Canadarm2 and an astronaut on a space walk. The call for nominations was officially opened on January 29th, 2020. Who better to propose as candidates for the new $5 note than Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod.
With the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin soon upon us, it only seems fitting to honour Canada’s gift to the world with a feature on our currency. This suggestion keeps up with the idea of Canadian innovation present on the current $5 note, and honours an important part of Canada’s history that continues to resonate on a global scale.
According to the criteria posted on the Bank of Canada’s nomination form the nominees must meet three basic criteria;
- They are a Canadian by birth or naturalization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement, or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.
- They have been deceased for at least 25 years (before March 11, 1995).
- They are not a fictional character.
For the 11 million Canadians affected by diabetes or pre-diabetes, and the 463 million people worldwide, the discovery of insulin is significant and life changing. Given that these men contributed to a discovery that changed the world for the better and truly represent the spirit of Canadian innovation, featuring them on the new $5 note would be an excellent way to honour their outstanding contribution to global health.
If you’re interested in supporting our nomination, or submitting your own, you can read more about the selection process and the critera on the Bank of Canada’s website, here.
This post was written by Madison Bifano, Graduate Research Assistant at Banting House NHSC. Madison is currently completeing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.