The Bank of Canada today officially put into circulation Canada's new $100 bank notes. The new notes will be distributed and become available across the country over the next two weeks.

"The new $100 note incorporates state-of-the-art security features designed to combat counterfeiting," said Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge.

There are four new security features that protect the $100 bank note against counterfeiting: a metallic holographic stripe, a watermarked portrait, a windowed colour-shifting thread, and a see-through number. The note also incorporates enhanced versions of security features with which Canadians are already familiar, such as raised ink (intaglio), fine-line printing, and improved fluorescence under ultraviolet lighting. To help blind and vision-impaired individuals identify the new $100 bank note, it has a tactile feature (raised dots) and large, high-contrast numerals.

Since the unveiling of the new $100 note at a ceremony in Halifax on 28 January 2004, the Bank of Canada has been working with law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and the retail and hospitality industries to train their employees on the note's security features.

"Everyone has a part to play in protecting our country's bank notes," said Paul Marsh, Staff Sergeant of the RCMP. "Together, we can fight counterfeiting. Bank notes have security features that are reliable and easy to use. It's good business practice to check your notes when you receive them—just as you count your change. By checking your notes, you protect yourself and eliminate opportunities for counterfeiters."

Retail Council of Canada President and CEO Diane J. Brisebois welcomed the new $100 bank note and its enhanced features. "Retailers and their customers have a major stake in the trustworthiness of our currency," she said. "We are delighted the new $100 bill is harder to counterfeit and contains easy ways of verifying its validity. We will continue to work closely with the Bank of Canada to help retailers train their staff on how to quickly check a bank note."

The Bank of Canada plans to complete the introduction of the new Canadian Journey series later this year when it issues the two remaining high-denomination bank notes ($20 and $50). All bank notes from all previous series remain legal tender.

For more information on Canadian bank notes and the new security features of the $100 note.

Note to Editors:

A photo of Diane J. Brisebois, Retail Council of Canada President and CEO, spending the first new $100 bank note at a clothing retailer will be made available on the Canadian Press Network.