New $20 bill honours Vimy Ridge battle

by | Nov 6, 2012 | Biz/Tech

By Neetu Thind

The newly designed polymer twenty-dollar bill will begin circulation today. COURTESY THE BANK OF CANADA

Canadians may soon be able to carry a memento supporting veterans in their wallets just in time for Remembrance Day.

After unveiling the polymer style banknotes in May, the new twenty-dollar bill will be in circulation Wednesday.

The design of the new bill hopes to capture the historical significance of an important Canadian battle, said Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, at the unveiling of the bill at the Bank of Canada’s head office in May.

The new bill will showcase a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and the back of the note will feature the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, to honour those who fought and gave their lives in the First World War, the Bank of Canada said in a press release.

“This third note in the Frontier series commemorates the combination of technical innovation, tactical planning and meticulous execution with which Canada breached more than just a military frontier at Vimy Ridge,” Flaherty said.

The back of the bill commemorates World War I veterans and provides greater security features to prevent fraudulent currency.

Nicholas Alexandris, executive director of The Vimy foundation, told Humber News this is a great way to recognize the epic Canadian fight.

“The battle of Vimy Ridge, was really a coming of age for Canada because it was where we fought for the first time as a nation and not as a colony,” said Alexandris. “It was the beginning of the Canada we know today.”

Alexandris said the new $20 bill not only reflects the sacrifice made in World War I but is also a great tribute to soldiers and veterans.

However, the change to the polymer note goes deeper than aesthetics.

The Bank of Canada said the main reason for the new bill is to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats with easily identifiable security features therefore harder to duplicate.

The polymer notes last at least 2.5 times longer than cotton-paper currency and will sport state-of-the-art transparencies, raised edges and holograms to prevent counterfeit, said the Bank of Canada in it’s fact sheets.

The new bills are a good change for people whose jobs require handling money, said Dharmender Sahota, an HVAC student at Humber.

“At work I always use a machine to count money and sometimes paper bills that are ripped or damaged don’t go through, but the new bills always go though without a problem,” said Sahota.

New polymer $5 and $10 banknotes will be issued by the end of 2013.