Canada’s new $5 and $10 polymer bills were unveiled Tuesday in a ceremony attended by officials and guests in Ottawa, with Commander Chris Hadfield attending via satellite from the International Space Station.
Along with Hadfield, who is orbiting more than 350 kilometres above Earth, on hand to introduce the final two bills in Canada’s new Polymer series were Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, and Paul Smith, chairman of the board at VIA Rail Canada.
The new $5 and $10 bank notes have the same security features as the already-introduced $20, $50, and $100 polymer notes, including a sophisticated combination of transparency and holography. The polymer notes are also more economical and are said to last at least two and half times longer than the traditional bank notes.
“With today’s unveiling of the final two notes in the series, one can see not only the unique story that each of the five denominations tells, but the unifying theme that underlies them all—the profound courage, determination, and ingenuity of our nation and its people,” Flaherty said in a statement.
The first look at the new $5 bill was offered by Hadfield from the International Space Station. The new bill features images of the Canadian-built Canadarm2 and Dexte, robotic innovations used at the space station.
“I try to inspire young Canadians to aim high. This new $5 bill should do the same,” Hadfield said in the statement. “By giving prominence to Canadian achievements in space, this bank note reminds us that not even the sky is the limit.”
The $5 bill also features a portrait of Wilfrid Laurier, prime minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911.
The $10 bill, which features an image of a train journeying through the Rocky Mountains, was introduced by VIA Rail Canada’s Smith.
“The transcontinental railway helped build modern Canada. On behalf of VIA Rail, I am delighted that this accomplishment, through the use of this iconic image, has been honoured on the new $10 bank note,” Smith said.
The bill also has a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, and the prime minister at the time of the railway’s completion.
The new bills will be issued for circulation starting in November. The old cotton-based paper bank notes will be recycled in Canada.