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432-00078 (Culture and heritage)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

  • The Bank of Canada has decided to put a new face on the five-dollar bill and are accepting recommendations for great Canadians worthy of consideration;

  • Sergeant Tommy Prince was a great Indigenous Canadian who embodied duty, courage, bravery, and patriotism;

  • After joining the Canadian Army at age 24, Sergeant Prince became a founding member of the elite 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the Devil's Brigade during the Second World War before going on to contribute to the stalwart defence of Hill 677 in the Battle of Kapyong during the Korean War;

  • Sergeant Prince's eleven medals make him the most decorated Indigenous war veteran in Canada;

  • Military service took a heavy toll on Sergeant Prince's health and, following his honourable discharge from the Army, he experienced racism from the federal government as Indigenous war veterans were denied many of the benefits other veterans received; and,

  • It is the responsibility of every Canadian to understand the injustices of the past towards Indigenous heroes like Sergeant Tommy Prince and to work towards establishing a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

We, the undersigned, citizens or residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to make a statement in support of reconciliation by honouring Sergeant Tommy Prince, Canadian war hero, on the new five-dollar bill.

Response by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

The accomplishments of distinguished Canadians are an integral part of our history and culture.  Their representation on our bank notes is an important means to reflect our shared character and values.  The Bank of Canada, on behalf of the Government, has taken an open and transparent approach on the selection of the portrait for the new $5 bank note.

The Bank of Canada has sought input from the public through a call for nominations that served to establish an initial list of eligible candidates. The call for nominations for the portrait subject of the $5 bank note closed on March 11, 2020, and served to establish an initial list of eligible nominees (https://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/banknoteable-5/).  The names of all iconic Canadians who meet the basic criteria, including Sergeant Tommy Prince, appear on Bank of Canada's website in alphabetical order. The Government is pleased that thousands of Canadians engaged in this process and took time to reflect on the many remarkable Canadians worth celebrating.

All eligible nominations are reviewed by an independent Advisory Council composed of eminent individuals from academia, the cultural sector, and civil society. With the help of public opinion research to gauge the views of Canadians, and additional historical research, the Advisory Council established a short list of candidates from which the Government will select the iconic Canadian who will be the portrait subject of the $5 bank note.

We read your summary on the life and impact of Sergeant Tommy Prince with great interest.  The Government has committed to establishing a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians, and will take this petition under careful consideration as we deliberate on the overall design of the $5 bank note. Please be assured that the Government will continue to support Indigenous communities and reconciliation, regardless of which candidate is finally selected.

Presented to the House of Commons
Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard)
October 6, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00078)
Government response tabled
November 19, 2020
Photo - Tom Kmiec
Calgary Shepard
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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