Ethnicity on Canada $100 Bill
Governor Mark Carney of the Bank of Canada had to issue a formal apology, the bank’s first since 2003, after complaints that the woman featured on the C$100 note released last year was of an Asian woman and thus was racism because Asians should not be the only represented ethnic group. Chinese groups were the most vocal since Canada has a large Chinese population.
The image was of a woman scientist gazing into a microscope next to a bottle containing insulin and was meant to celebrate medical innovations in Canada.
By the woman appearing Asian, those who objected said it seemed to say that Asians were the only ones excelling in science and technology. “That was not the bank’s intention,” said Carney, “and I apologize to those who were offended.” The bank has never intended to have their bank notes depict only one specific ethnic group, and their future designs will be reviewed in detail so that this situation does not occur again.
Ken Wong, a marketing professor at Queen’s University, responded that the whole discussion is silly because “there would never be anybody on a piece of currency unless we’re prepared to have a whole whack of people representing the diversity of the Canadian population.”