Tuesday, August 7, 2012


As you all should know, I consider myself an expert on Canadian history. I pride myself on knowing more than the average Canadian, and what I don't know, I look up to discover the truth. As I sat through another internet dry spell, I asked my parents who they would put on new Canadian dollar bills if they had the chance to design new ones. Here are their answers.

  1. Tommy Hunter
  2. Gordon Lightfoot
  3. Anne Murray
  4. Peter Mansbridge
  5. Peter McKay
  1. James Wolf
  2. Frederick Banting
  3. Laura Secord
  4. Samuel de Champlain
  5. John Cabot
Some interesting choices if I do say so myself, if some are perhaps a little disappointing. Here is my own list of great Canadians, with justification of course.
  1. Shanawdithit: The last known member of the Beothuk tribe which lived on Newfoundland. I chose are as a memento telling Canadians that while we have a lot to proud of, and we do. There are still corners of our history which show a tragic tale of ignorance and hatred. Every time we remember Shanawdithit, we remember not to repeat the same mistakes as before.
  2. Thomas D'Arcy McGee: A forgotten member of our founding fathers, but one who is important all the same. Naturally, you don't hear much about him compared to Sir John A. Macdonald, George Brown, and Sir George-Etienne Cartier; but he did play an important role in protecting the rights of religious minorities. McGee is perhaps most famous however for being the only federal politician to be assassinated.
  3. Sir John Franklin: Everyone in Canada knows who Sir John Franklin is, he is just such a part of our history. Immortalized by trying and failing to discover the Northwest Passage, Franklin is remembered for his mysterious disappearance.
  4. Louis Riel: A controversial figure in Canada, but one who is a major part of the history of our land. As the leader of the Metis rebellions, half of Canada remembers him as a hero, and the other half sees him as a villain. I choose to remember him as a man who fought for the rights and freedom of his people, and I believe that is worth honoring.
  5. I'm a little hesitant on this one, but I think it's worth adding for the sake of diversity. Mack Sennet, the Canadian born film-maker and "King of Comedy", was an instrumental figure in the early years of Hollywood. Perhaps best of all, Sennet is known for giving Charlie Chaplin his start in movies. I consider him controversial because he gave up his Canadian citizenship in the later half of his life. Should someone who did that be immortalized on our currency? If not Sennet, I believe Mary Pickford, an actress from the same era would be a great pick.
Since I was going on a tangent about history, I also added a couple extra people just to even things out.
  1. Dr. Frederick Banting: The co-discoverer of insulin, he truly is a Canadian great. Nothing political about him either, just an awesome Canadian. He was so great, he gave half of his Nobel Prize money to his assistant Charles Best, who was ignored by the committee.
  2. Lester B. Pearson: A former Prime Minister, he valued peace over war and brinkmanship. Pearson is also the only Canadian to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize, in his case it was for solving the Suez Canal Crisis. I also respect him for his stand against the arms race of the Cold War, a stance that angered his American peers.
  3. Marc Garneau: The first Canadian in space. He's still alive and an active politician, so it's too soon for him to be on our currency, but he would be a great choice after he passes away.
So those are my selections to put on the Canadian bank notes. What do you think about the selection? Who do you think should be on our money?


  1. Is it bad if i only know like 4 names from that whole blog post?...

    1. You should feel bad, but how bad you feel depends on the four you know.

  2. Peter Mansbridge, Peter Mckay, Fredrick Banting and Samuel de Champlain

  3. BS, you know who Louis Riel and John Cabot are.

  4. Drawing a blank on John there...