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The reverse of the $50 banknote

The $50 note is red, and the obverse features a portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada between 1921 and 1930 and again between 1935 and 1948. It is based on a photograph in the collections of Library and Archives Canada.[29] The building in the holographic metallic foil is the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada.[29]

The reverse features images focusing on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen in the Arctic, reflecting Canada's northern frontier and its role in Arctic research.[34][50] The image is based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada taken on the Saint Lawrence River near the Canadian Coast Guard base in Quebec City.[29] The syllabic text "ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖅ" appearing above the image of the ship is the Inuktitut syllabic representation of the Inuktitut word "ukiuqtaqtuq", meaning "arctic".William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada between 1921 and 1930 and again between 1935 and 1948. It is based on a photograph in the collections of Library and Archives Canada.[29] The building in the holographic metallic foil is the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada.[29]

The reverse features images focusing on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen in the Arctic, reflecting Canada's northern frontier and its role in Arctic research.[34][50] The image is based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada taken on the Saint Lawrence River near the Canadian Coast Guard base in Quebec City.[29] The syllabic text "ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖅ" appearing above the image of the ship is the Inuktitut syllabic represe

The reverse features images focusing on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen in the Arctic, reflecting Canada's northern frontier and its role in Arctic research.[34][50] The image is based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada taken on the Saint Lawrence River near the Canadian Coast Guard base in Quebec City.[29] The syllabic text "ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖅ" appearing above the image of the ship is the Inuktitut syllabic representation of the Inuktitut word "ukiuqtaqtuq", meaning "arctic".[29] The background contains a simplified adaptation of a map of Northern Canada provided by Natural Resources Canada and an artistic rendering of a navigational compass.[29]

The banknote was unveiled and released into circulation at a national ceremony at the Canadian Coast Guard port facility in Quebec, and also at several regional events, on 26 March 2012.[69][67] CCGS Amundsen was docked at port for the ceremony.[69] It was nominated for International Bank Note Society Banknote of 2012 and was ultimately runner-up to the Kazakhstani 5000 tenge banknote.[70]

The $100 note is brown, and the obverse features a portrait of Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada between 1911 and 1920. It is based on a photograph in the collections of Library and Archives Canada.[30] The building in the holographic metallic foil is the East Block of Parliament Hill, based on a photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada.[30]

The reverse features images focusing on Canadian innovation in medicine.[34][50] In the centre is a drawing of a researcher or scientist using a microscope based on the Carl Zeiss AG Axioplan 2 imaging microscope.[30] It represents "all the men and women who have contributed" to medical research in Canada.[30] Th

The reverse features images focusing on Canadian innovation in medicine.[34][50] In the centre is a drawing of a researcher or scientist using a microscope based on the Carl Zeiss AG Axioplan 2 imaging microscope.[30] It represents "all the men and women who have contributed" to medical research in Canada.[30] The bottle of insulin, based on a 1923 photograph of one of the earliest bottles of the protein, represents the discovery of the peptide hormone by Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best in 1921.[30] Similarly, the electrocardiogram track of the beat of a healthy human heart[30] represents the 1950 invention of the pacemaker by John Alexander Hopps, the "father of Canadian biomedical engineering".[71] The DNA strand is adapted from a computer-generated image created by the University of Ottawa; it honours the researchers who have contributed to the mapping of the human genome and is meant to evoke the future of medical innovation in Canada rather than its history.[71]

The image of the scientist was revised based on comments and details of the focus group study showing that some Canadians were concerned about the Asian appearance of the scientist as originally drawn.[32] Some Canadians were concerned about a potential ethnic stereotype of Asians.[24] For the Montreal focus group, "the inclusion of an Asian without representing any other ethnicities was seen to be contentious", whereas the Toronto focus group deemed it to "represent diversity or multiculturalism".[32] One Vancouver focus group perceived the double helix of the DNA strand as anal beads, and others thought it was the Big Dipper.[31][72]

The banknote was unveiled and released into circulation at a national ceremony at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto on 14 November 2011.[73][67] The date was chosen because it was World Diabetes Day and the birthday of Frederick Banting.[73] It was the first of the 2011 Frontier banknotes to be released because the same denomination in the 1986 Birds of Canada and 2001 Canadian Journey series had become "a favourite target of counterfeiters".[2] By 2013, counterfeit versions of the banknote had been found in circulation in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.[74]

It was nominated for International Bank Note Society Banknote of 2011 and was ultimately runner-up to the Kazakh 10,000 tenge banknote.[75]

The banknotes feature a large clear window through which passes a stripe of holographic metallic foil that changes colour based on angle.[76][77] The holographic foil contains an image of one of the Parliament buildings at its base and a coloured duplicate of the portrait appearing on the banknote at the top.[34][78] Both portions of the metallic foil contain the words "BANK OF CANADA", "BANQUE DU CANADA", and several repetitions of the value of the denomination appearing in different colours depending on the viewing angle.[79] The metallic foil portrait is the same as the larger portrait on the banknote, but shifts colour when the banknote is tilted.[80][78] The holographic foil is manufactured using a mix of aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and adhesives.[37]

A frosted window in the shape of a maple leaf is included at the other end of the note.[79]maple leaf is included at the other end of the note.[79][34] Within the maple leaf is a ring of numbers matching the denomination of the banknote that become visible when the obverse is observed with a backlight.[76][5][35] Hidden numbers also appear in the large window and holographic foil, some in reverse.[34][35] The translucent maple leaf has a thin, transparent outline through which is visible the pattern of the reverse.[49]

Other security features include a border consisting of maple leaves around and intruding into parts of the large window, and transparent text printed in raised ink in the window.[79][49][81][35] The raised ink is printed using intaglio[4] and is also used for the large numerals to the left of the portrait, the shoulders of the portrait, and the words "BANK OF CANADA" and "BANQUE DU CANADA" printed near the maple leaf border.[5][81] The transparent word "Canada" in the large window is also raised.[35]

Each denomination contains the EURion constellation on both the obverse and reverse to deter counterfeiting by reproduction using imaging software and photocopiers.[82] The 2011 Frontier series is the second Canadian banknote series to include it after the 2001 Canadian Journey series. On the obverse, the pattern occurs flanking the transparent window, with denominations having the same pattern on the right and different patterns on the left. On the reverse, it occurs in the lower strip containing the banknote's serial number.

The security features in the Frontier series make counterfeiting the banknotes more difficult than counterfeiting banknotes from earlier series.

By late 2011, the $100 banknote had been counterfeited, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested four individuals of a counterfeiting operation in Richmond

By late 2011, the $100 banknote had been counterfeited, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested four individuals of a counterfeiting operation in Richmond, British Columbia, and seized partially completed, counterfeit $100 banknotes with a face value of $1.2 million.[83] In May 2013, counterfeit $100 banknotes were found in circulation in New Westminster and other parts of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia.[83] They were described by New Westminster police sergeant Diana McDaniel as "very well done", but they were missing three security features in the reproduction—a line of printed numerals in the transparent window, the flag atop the East Block in the lower metallic foil, and the raised ink.[83][84] About 175 copies of the banknotes were found in circulation.[19]

By May 2013, there were 56 cases of counterfeit banknotes known to the Bank of Canada.[85] Offences related to the production, printing, publication, possession, distribution, use, or circulation of counterfeit currency, or owning, repairing, or using machines or other tools used for the production of counterfeit currency are part of section XII, Offences relating to currency, of the Criminal Code, in sections 448–462.[86][87] The RCMP maintains a National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau (NACB) to coordinate policing regarding counterfeit currency, and is the central repository for seized counterfeit money.[88][89] NACB also has the responsibility for destroying all counterfeit currency once it has been analyzed and is no longer needed for court proceedings.[89]

The banknote designs were criticised by Keith Rushton, chairman of the graphic design department at the Ontario College of Art and Design, as being "trite, banal, ordinary and not too inspiring".[34] Botanist Sean Blaney told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the depiction of the maple leaf on the banknote is that of an invasive five-lobed Norway Maple, not a maple tree indigenous to Canada such as the three-lobed sugar maple.[90][17][91] A spokesperson for the Bank of Canada stated that the design was "a stylized blend of different Canadian maple species".[91] The 2009 focus group report stated that the image of the train on the $10 banknote was attractive but uninspiring and outdated, and it drew complaints from people in Atlantic Canada where many "railway links have been decommissioned".[72]

Automated teller machines, vending machines, note-sorting equipment, ticket and parking lot machines, slot machines, Automated teller machines, vending machines, note-sorting equipment, ticket and parking lot machines, slot machines, self-checkout machines, and other banknote processing equipment had to be upgraded to process the polymer banknotes,[34] a process that began six months before the introduction of the banknotes.[91][92] The Bank of Canada provided sample bills to 85 equipment manufacturing companies so they could update the software that operates the machines.[91] By the time the $20 banknote was released into circulation, vending machines operated by about half of the members of the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association did not accept the Frontier banknotes.[17] Some vending machine operators waited until the release of all the banknotes before updating their machines.[17] Once the update software was tested, reprogramming each machine consisted of an automated task requiring an on-site visit by a technician.[20] Sabbir Kabir of the Canadian National Vending Alliance stated that the sample banknotes were not the same as those introduced into circulation, such as the image being offset in one version or each printing being cut differently.[20] The offset problem was fixed in December 2012.[20] The Bank of Canada expected the industry to spend between $75 and $100 million to update machines to process the polymer banknotes.[39]

In July 2013, a petition organized by historian Merna Forster and addressed to Stephen Poloz and Jim Flaherty campaigned to have the Bank of Canada feature "significant Canadian women" on banknotes.[93][94] It drew support from famous Canadian women, including Margaret Atwood, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Dale, and from several Members of Parliament, including Bruce Hyer, Peggy Nash, and Murray Rankin.[93][95][94] It was also supported by the Because I am a Girl campaign.[94] The petition was started because of the exclusion of women from the banknote designs and stated that earlier banknotes included women, such as the fifty-dollar banknote of the 2001 Canadian Journey series which featured The Famous Five and Thérèse Casgrain on the reverse.[96] The petition was delivered to Poloz, who stated that the Bank of Canada was "absolutely open to the idea" of incorporating portraits of famous Canadian women in future banknote series.[95] Poloz sent a reply letter to Forster on 4 November 2013.[97] In March 2018, the first bill in the 2018 Canadian series, the ten-dollar bill featuring Viola Desmond, was announced.[98]

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Canadian National Council stated that the revisions to the image of the scientist on the $100 banknote reflected the Bank of Canada "caving to ... racist feedback".[23] A Bank of Canada spokesperson later apologized for the change.[90]

The media reported various complaints about the banknotes, including that new banknotes stuck together, some vending machines did not recognize or accept them, and that they may melt when exposed to high heat.[17] An individual will be reimbursed for a damaged banknote only if the banknote's serial number is known.[99] A report by the Calgary Herald based on an informal survey it conducted in 2013 stated that Calgarians complained about the "same old faces, and the same old colours".[100]

As each banknote was put into circulation, the same denomination from earlier banknote series began being withdrawn from circulation by the Bank of Canada.[101] The Bank of Canada expected the 2011 Frontier series to become the dominant banknotes in circulation by late 2015 or early 2016,[102] with at least 70% of older $20 banknotes removed from circulation within 18 months of issuing the polymer $20 banknotes.[103] By November 2013, about 700 million banknotes of the $20, $50, and $100 denominations had been released into circulation.[12] The Bank of Canada printed 580 million polymer banknotes in 2012 and 675 million in 2013.[104] The operating costs for the 2013 second-quarter of the Bank of Canada increased 23% from the previous year, nearly half of which was a result of printing the polymer banknotes.[104]

During the introduction of the $5 and $10 banknotes, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated that counterfeiting of the polymer $20, $50 and $100 banknotes that had been previously released was dram

During the introduction of the $5 and $10 banknotes, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated that counterfeiting of the polymer $20, $50 and $100 banknotes that had been previously released was dramatically lower than that of previous series.[59] By late 2013, the counterfeit ratio had been reduced to below 40 PPM, and about 5% of retailers still refused to accept $100 banknotes for payment.[6]

The Bank of Canada expected the 2011 Frontier series to last about eight years.[39] It issued polymer banknotes into circulation in exchange for paper banknotes of earlier series which were then removed from circulation.[6] Because of the increased lifespan of the Frontier banknotes compared to earlier banknote series, the Bank of Canada expected to replace smaller volumes of worn and damaged banknotes than it did in previous years.[101] When removed from circulation, the polymer banknotes are recycled instead of being destroyed like the paper-based banknotes of previous series.[62][73] By early November 2012, at least 315 banknotes had to be replaced because of damage.[17] As a result of decreased demand for banknote printing services, BA International closed its Ottawa printing operation in 2012[105][106] and sold it to Canadian Bank Note Company for $10.2 million in 2013.[107]

In March 2012, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind issued a press release lauding the "touch, sight and electronic signal features" of the polymer banknotes.[108] The Bank of Canada patented a machine-readable feature created by its researchers during development of the Frontier series.[109] It was first used in the Frontier series and adapted for commercial production by one of the development partners.[109]

The communications and information company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, which developed the robotic systems deployed to space by the Canadian Space Agency which appear on the $5 banknote, sent some members of the media a promotional package containing a $5 banknote and a letter in January 2014.[110] The letter stated that the release of the banknotes afforded the company "a unique opportunity to highlight Canada's tremendous accomplishments in space" as well as the company's role in a "very cost-effective way".[110]

The Bank of Canada commissioned a life-cycle assessment of the 2001 Canadian Journey and 2011 Frontier series banknotes to evaluate the environmental impact of the life cycle of each banknote.[111]

After officials at the Bank of England confirmed reports that the polymer £5 note issued in September 2016 contained traces of tallow,[112] a rendered animal fat derived from suet, Bank of Canada officials stated that additives in the polymer pellets used for producing banknotes in the Frontier series contained trace quantities of tallow.[113]