March 17, 2018

Civil Rights Figure Viola Desmond Is The Face Of Canada's $10 Bill

10 March 2018, 12:40 | Ken Black

Canada's unveils new vertical $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

Officials set to unveil new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

The new $10 bill features Nova Scotia civil-rights champion Viola Desmond alongside a Winnipeg landmark, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will be unveiling the long awaited note.

This is the first time a Canadian woman will be featured on the face of a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.

The bill notes the importance of refusing to leave Desmond November 8, 1946 designated for whites only in one of the cinemas Nova Scotia nearly ten years before Rosa parks refused to leave her place in segregated along racial lines bus in Alabama.

There is also an eagle feather that is the First Nations symbol of truth, power and freedom. Yes, several countries have made it happen: Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, and the Philippines all have at least one banknote featuring a woman who has defined its history.

"As I said, the ultimate goal of our communications campaign is to drive different communities of interest to the core Viola Desmond/rights and social justice story - a serious and important theme", wrote Harrison.

"I have a daughter who's eight, and she'll be able to look at a bank note and see a woman who reflects her, an African Nova Scotian woman who stood up for her rights and now is being commemorated on a bank note", he said.

More than 70 years later, Desmond's act of defiance has been cemented into Canadian civil rights history.

"We know more about Rosa Parks than Viola Desmond", he said. It was a segregated space - floor seats were for white people while black people were relegated to the balcony. "She's not leading the movement because he was ahead of his time".

In 2010, the government of Nova Scotia issued an apology to Desmond, for prosecuting her and acknowledged her courage in resisting racial discrimination.

"You just can't spend it between now and the end of the year", he told her.

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