Bank of Canada Apologizes for $100 Bill Controversy After Racism Accusations

Calgary Herald, August 20, 2012

In an unusual move, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney apologized on Monday for bank note changes that prompted critics to accuse the central bank of racism.

The initial design for the new C$100 note featured a picture of an Asian woman but this was scrapped after focus groups expressed concern Asians should not be the only ethnic group represented.

When the bill was released into circulation last year, the Asian woman had been removed and replaced by a woman who looked to be Caucasian, prompting complaints from Chinese groups and media commentators.

In the bank’s first formal apology in nearly a decade, Carney said the Bank had never intended bank notes to feature people who represented only one ethnic group.

“I apologize to those who were offended. The Bank’s handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably expect of us,” he said in a statement.

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