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Canadian bills get minty fresh

Jeremy Gill

October 2011

The Bank of Canada has decided to introduce a new and improved series of bank notes that will help reduce counterfeiting.

These notes are made out of one durable sheet of polymer, which will last two and a half times longer than the regular cotton bills. They combine transparency, holography and other sophisticated security elements. The polymer series are not only more secure, they are also more cost-effective. After being taken out of circulation, for the first time in Canada they will be recycled into other products.

These safer, cheaper, and greener bills are a 21st century achievement in which all Canadians will take pride and place their confidence, the BoC says.

The first bank notes were issued in 1817 by a Montreal bank. Notes were produced for the government by the Bank of Montreal between 1842 and 1862. In 1866, the province of Canada began issuing its own paper money.

Photo courtesy of the Bank of Canada

In 1913, with 10 chartered banks issuing notes, the Bank of Canada was founded. In 1944, the chartered banks were prohibited from issuing their own currency, with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal among the last to issue notes. A liability of more than $12 million remains on the BoC’s books, representing the face value of Dominion of Canada, provincial and chartered bank notes outstanding.

The number of counterfeit notes passed annually in Canada peaked in 2004, with 470 reported cases per one million notes. Last year, there were 35 counterfeit notes detected per million. The Bank of Canada will introduce a $100 bill in November. The $50 bill will follow in March 2012. The $20, $10 and $5 will be unveiled and issued by the end of 2013.

Jeremy Gill is a Grade 7 student at Royal West Academy.



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