Bank of Canada featuring new commemorative bills, training police to spot fakes

Published on April 20, 2017

Monique LeBlanc, regional director of currency for the Bank of Canada, holds a new $10 Canadian bank note. The limited edition notes will go into circulation on June 1 and are meant to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

©Colin Maclean/Journal Pioneer

Summerside Police Services officers were back in school Thursday morning and Monique LeBlanc of the Bank of Canada was at the head of the class.  

LeBlanc was in the city training officers in the new security features built into the $10 commemorative notes the bank is launching into circulation June 1 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. About 40 million of the bills will be issued, roughly one for every Canadian.

Cpl. Jennifer Driscoll said that counterfeit bills are a rare complaint in Summerside, but they do happen occasionally and it’s good for officers to stay up-to-date with the latest security features.

The new bank notes feature many of the same security precautions as other modern polymer Canadian bills, but do have a few new add-ons as well. Some of the new features include a colour-changing image in the Peace Arch depiction and holographic maple leaf designs and a piece by an Inuit artist.

LeBlanc said the Bank of Canada tries to work closely with law enforcement agencies to reduce counterfeit currency. She conducts an annual training session at the Atlantic Police Academy for the cadets and does refresher classes for Island police agencies every couple of years.

Besides the security features, LeBlanc was also eager to talk about the limited edition commemorative bill itself.

It was created using a lot of feedback from Canadians, she said, and the Bank of Canada is quite proud of how it turned out.

“It’s a note that celebrates our history, our culture, our landscapes. It’s very unique in that there are four portraits on the front. We’ve never done that before,” said LeBlanc.

The people on the bill are, from left, Sir John A. MacDonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, both Fathers of Confederation, Agnes MacPhail, Canada’s first female MP, and James Gladstone, first Indigenous senator. The reverse of the bill features iconic scenes from across the country. Both sides are also home to First Nations and historic Canadian imagery.