‘Leonard Cohen because I’m a big fan of him. Gord Downie would be a good one too,’ says Travis Dutkiewicz, of Penhold.

Central Albertans discuss who should be on the new $5 bill

Central Albertans are voicing their opinion on who should be on Canada’s new $5 bill.

Earlier this week, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said the agency will soon launch public consultations about who should appear on a new banknote.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first francophone prime minister, is currently featured on the $5 bill.

Travis Dutkiewicz, of Penhold, suggested someone from the entertainment industry would be a worthy choice.

“Leonard Cohen, because I’m a big fan of him. Gord Downie would be a good one, too. I’m more of a musician than politician, so anything to do with music I’d like,” Dutkiewicz said, adding comedians Dan Aykroyd and Mike Myers would be good choices as well.

Dave Morin, of Red Deer, had a different idea of who should be on the bill.

“I like the idea of changing it up. I think Tommy Douglas would be a good option. He was the one I thought of right away,” said Morin.

Douglas was a former premier of Saskatchewan, and the first leader of the New Democratic Party. He led the first socialist government elected in Canada, and he is recognized as the father of socialized medicine in the country, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia’s website.

Katie Graves, of Lacombe, said she isn’t sure who should be the face of the new $5 note.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a politician. I just hope the person chosen is someone special,” said Graves.

Corbin Lamberton, also of Lacombe, said perhaps an athlete is the way to go.

“I suppose Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian icon for hockey. He’s stayed relevant for years and has been on a ton of sports broadcasts and things like that,” Lamberton said, adding it doesn’t matter too much who is put on the bill.

Commenters on the Red Deer Advocate Facebook page made some suggestions as well, including Don Cherry, Terry Fox, former prime minister John Diefenbaker and Neil Peart, the drummer for Canadian rock band Rush, who recently died.

The Bank of Canada’s public consultations will be similar to those that led to the choice of Viola Desmond for the $10 bill, which began circulating in 2018.

Desmond, a Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer and businesswoman, was selected by the finance minister to be on the $10 note after an open call for nominations for iconic women who could appear on it.

Poloz says this time, the bank will be asking Canadians to nominate any historic Canadian they think may be worthy to be on the new bill.

– With files by The Canadian Press

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The bank of Canada is seeking nominations for who should be on the new $5 bill. Cartoon by PATRICK LAMONTAGNE

Canadian currency

‘I suppose Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian icon for hockey,’ says Corbin Lamberton, of Lacombe.

‘I think Tommy Douglas would be a good option. He was the one I thought of right away,’ says Dave Morin, of Red Deer.

‘It doesn’t necessarily have to be a politician. I just hope the person chosen is someone special,’ says Katie Graves, of Lacombe.

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