Canada Doesn’t Like to Celebrate Diversity on Their Currency

Remember that original design for Canada’s new $100 bill that was rejected because focus groups thought the woman scientist featured in the image looked “too Asian”? There’s apparently more where that came from: Report: Gays, blacks nixed as images on Canada’s new plastic bank notes.

Internal documents show that focus groups and a Bank of Canada team reviewed a series of currency images intended in part to reflect the diversity of Canada’s population, including a Chinese dragon parade, the swearing in of a new citizen, Toronto’s annual Caribbean festival, children of different ethnic backgrounds playing hockey or building a snowman, and a person in a wheelchair playing basketball.

Alas, none of these images made it on to the new notes. And the images that were finally approved for the bills didn’t really reflect the themes of “diversity, inclusiveness, acceptance of others/multiculturalism” the focus group participants supposedly valued:

The image catalogue was drawn up in 2008 by The Strategic Counsel, a market research firm hired for $476,000 to help the Bank decide how to illustrate its new series of polymer $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. The first note, the $100, began circulating in November 2011.

Drawing on focus-group discussions and workshops with Canadians in six cities, the consultant found strong support for themes of “diversity, inclusiveness, acceptance of others/multiculturalism.” Eventually, 41 image ideas covering several themes were tested and given scores.

Among the highest-rated images were those of children of different ethnic backgrounds building a snowman; faces of individuals from different cultures celebrating Canada Day; an image of a hand of many colours; and children of different ethnic backgrounds playing hockey. These selections were then presented by the Bank of Canada team to officials at Finance Canada for further vetting.

Many images proposed at the start of the process did not make the cut. Rejected were illustrations of a gay marriage, an RCMP officer wearing a turban, and “hockey with a twist … with a black player.”

Read it on Global News: Global News | Report: Gays, blacks nixed as images on Canada’s new plastic bank notes.

Would have been a pretty sweet to see a turban-wearing Mountie on Canadian money. Call it a missed opportunity. Hey, who needs that pesky diversity stuff anyway? More here: Gay marriage, turban-wearing Mountie nixed as images on new bills: documents.

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