Canada’s new $10 note has human rights significance

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Canada’s upcoming $10 bank note, which depicts social justice defender Viola Desmond, tells a story of human rights.

The new note, which will be issued in late 2018, is the first in Canada to have a vertical design and features images and symbols that represent the country’s ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms.

At the heart of the note is portrait subject Viola Desmond, the first Canadian woman to be featured on a regularly circulating bank note. Desmond, a successful Black businesswoman, was jailed, convicted and fined for defiantly refusing to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946. Her court case is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada. Desmond is also the first portrait subject to be nominated by Canadians, following an open call in 2016 to identify an iconic Canadian woman to appear on the next redesigned bank note. She was ultimately selected by Finance Minister Bill Morneau for her courageous stand for equality and justice. -CINEWS

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