May 2, 2012

New Canadian $20 note design unveiled

OTTAWA, ON--Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and Governor Mark Carney today unveiled the new and more secure $20 polymer bank note at the Bank of Canada’s head office, on Wellington Street in Ottawa. To raise public awareness about the new note, the building's north-east corner now features seven-storey high images of both sides of the polymer $20.

As with the previously issued $50 and $100 polymer bank notes, the main reason for issuing a new $20 is to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats.  The new polymer notes are also more economical and have a smaller environmental footprint.

“The Bank’s goal is to maintain Canadians’ confidence in our money as a secure means of payment,” said Governor Carney after the unveiling ceremony. “This new $20 note fits the bill.”

The front of the polymer $20 features a new portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year. The back of the note pays tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian men and women in all military conflicts, and features the Canadian National Vimy Memorial – an iconic monument located in Vimy, France which commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge and honours those who fought and gave their lives in the First World War in France and have no known grave.

The $20 bill, which accounts for more 50 percent of all bank notes in circulation and is the main note dispensed by automated banking machines (ABMs), will begin circulating in November of this year. To prepare for the new notes, the Bank is working closely with financial institutions and manufacturers of bank note equipment to ensure a smooth transition to polymer. The Bank is also providing authentication training and support materials to law enforcement officers and to cash handlers in retail and financial institutions.

The remaining bank notes in the series – the $5 and $10 – will be issued by the end of 2013. The specific designs and detailed images of these notes will not be released until their official unveiling dates.

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