Canada just unveiled their new polymer $5 bank note, and they had a little help from someone that’s out of this world.
Literally. Well, not its orbit (apologies). Anyway, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station, was part of the big reveal. For those of you who lost track, yes, Canada did just unveil a new style of currency in space.
“Canadians can be very proud of their new polymer bank notes,” said Finance Minister Flaherty. “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.”
Here’s the Bank of Canada’s rationale for the switch to polymer:
Almost half a billion of these new notes are now in circulation. Safer, cheaper, greener, the polymer notes have already proven their worth. Safer, because all the notes have the same state-of-the-art security features, using holography, transparency and other elements that make them difficult to counterfeit but easy for everyone, especially those behind the counter, to verify.
Cheaper, because the durable polymer material lasts at least 2.5 times longer than paper-based notes. This means that fewer notes will need to be printed, making the series more economical. Greener because, over the life of the series, fewer notes produced also means fewer notes transported. And when they do need to be replaced, the notes will be recycled in Canada.
The new $5 bill features images of Canadarm2 and Dextre – robots used to build and keep the ISS. It also features a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911.
You can watch the currency reveal from space below:
Canada already has $20, $50, and $100 polymer notes in circulation, and the Bank of Canada says that they are the most secure bank note that they’ve ever issued.
“I try to inspire young Canadians to aim high. This new $5 bill should do the same,” Commander Hadfield said. “By giving prominence to Canadian achievements in space, this bank note reminds us that not even the sky is the limit.”