MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Leave our currency alone

The Bank of Canada is considering replacing Wilfrid Laurier on the five dollar bill

So whose face should be on the $5 bill?

The Bank of Canada is actually taking suggestions, for the first time, on who should replace Wilfrid Laurier on the blue bill.

I have a few questions. Why are we removing Canada’s first French-speaking prime minister from the billet de cinq dollars in the first place?

I’m assuming it’s similar to why we bumped John A. Macdonald, father of confederation, from the $10 bill recently. It’s a tough time to be a dead white guy.

Wikipedia says he may have built the railroad and kept the country together during a very difficult time, but he was also corrupt and a racist.

He wasn’t alone back then, in context, and I can think of at least one world leader today who is as corrupt as he is racist. In Trump we trust, indeed.

And speaking of the States, it seems they never play around with their currency while we always do as a matter of course.

I think it’s partially due to the fact that money in the U.S. is part of their DNA, who they are, part of their independence as a nation. So they still have a $1 bill with George Washington, their first president and a one-time slave owner, by the way, on the front for nearly 100 years.

Abraham Lincoln is on the five and I’m thinking these dead white guys are sticking around for a few more decades at least.

They fought hard and sacrificed to get rid of the British pound and their hard-earned loot is going to reflect that.

Of course we never did fight the British for independence, we waited for 100 years or so and then asked nicely if it would be okay if we had our own constitution and everything.

We got it and are so grateful we kept the queen on most of our currency, just like when we weren’t a country.

The loonie and toonie came along in 1987 and 1996 to replace the $1 and $2 bills, both featuring the queen, and people took to them like a loon to water.

I do remember at the time a few paranoid conspiracy-theory people coming into the Morning Star to warn that currency without serial numbers is a government plot with untold consequences.

But I ignored them and all was right with the world. You’re welcome. See, sometimes gatekeepers come in handy.

Then they started playing around with our paper money too. Lots of colours, metallic strips, polymers, watermarks, clear plastic bits – all in the name of keeping the crooks from counterfeiting our bills they told us.

We just shrugged, accepted it and hoped the store down the road was okay with it.

And now they’re getting rid of Laurier and Macdonald. Look out Mackenzie King, $50, and Robert Borden, $100, apparently your time is coming.

If the Americans suddenly took George off the one-dollar bill or Honest Abe off the fiver, there might be a revolution of sorts with guns and everything.

We take a couple prime ministers off our bills and no one says anything.

Just like when they change the words to our national anthem every other year for politically correct purposes. If we didn’t just mouth O Canada before we do now cause we don’t know the words anymore.

Imagine if they changed the Star Spangled Banner. It would cause another revolution with bombs bursting in air and everything.

Some of the suggestions so far are obvious and well-deserved. Terry Fox brought this country together and did so much for cancer research he deserves consideration.

Maybe Gord Downie of Tragically Hip, but I’m more of a Neil Young fan, although Fort Mac might take issue, and Keep on Rockin’ In the Free World would be a great five-dollar slogan.

John Candy would put a smile on everyone’s face, and maybe Harry and Meghan have to be considered seeing how they are now our royalty.

Tim Horton? Celine Dion? Nellie McClung? A moose?

Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling could each take a side as they’re kind of interchangeable heartthrobs anyways.

Justin’s dad Pierre might fit the bill but he’s just another old flawed PM, and Alberta might say over my dead body.

That’s why it’s got to be the Friendly Giant, complete with Jerome the giraffe and Rusty the Rooster, and if you can incorporate that tune somehow it would be perfect.

And if it can’t be that, I vote to leave it alone and let Laurier lie in peace.

Glenn Mitchell is the former editor of the Vernon Morning Star.


@VernonNews
letters@vernonmorningstar.com

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