Newly revealed internal documents acquired by the Canadian press under the Access to Information Act have revealed that the Bank of Canada considered putting images of a same-sex wedding on bank notes
In 2008, when designing Canada’s new polymer bank notes, first introduced in 2011, images reflecting diversity in Canada were considered by designers and focus groups. As well as a same-sex wedding, they considered images of a black hockey player, a Chinese dragon dance, a wheelchair basketball player, and a turban-wearing mounted police officer.
The gay couple, hockey player, and mountie were among the first images to be scrapped. The reasons for this are not given in the documents, which were reportedly heavily censored before being given to press.
Images from the catalogue which made it through to vetting by the Bank of Canada included children of different ethnicities building a snowman and playing hockey together, and people of different cultures celebrating Canada Day.
The five different denomination notes were released across 2011 and 2012, and did not feature any of the selection of socially diverse images. The Queen and Canadian prime ministers appear alongside a train, a ship, and the Vimy Ridge monument.
An early version of the $100 bill featured an Asian medical researcher as a symbol of medical achievement, but the report reveals that focus groups brought up her ethnicity in such a way that the bank decided to replace her with a caucasian woman before the bill was released.