The Bank of Canada today put into circulation Canada's new $50 bank note. The new note will be distributed and become available across the country over the next few weeks.

"To keep our economy functioning efficiently, it is crucial that Canadians have complete confidence in their bank notes," said David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada. "That is why we are improving the security of Canadian bank notes by researching and developing new and enhanced security features like the ones incorporated into the new $50 note."

The new note incorporates several anti-counterfeiting features that are easy to identify and quick to use. These include a metallic holographic stripe, a watermark portrait, a windowed colour-shifting thread woven into the paper, and a see-through number. These anti-counterfeiting features are similar to those found on the recently issued $100 and $20 notes.

Since the unveiling of the new $50 bank note on 13 October, the Bank of Canada has been working with its key partners, including law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and the retail and hospitality industries to familiarize cash handlers with the note's security features.

"We have been working in close co-operation with the Bank of Canada and other key partners to increase the level of counterfeit enforcement in Canada," said Chief Superintendent Peter German, Director General, Financial Crimes, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "By routinely checking the security features of bank notes during cash transactions, Canadians can help protect themselves and make a difference in the fight to keep counterfeits from entering into circulation."

The theme of the new $50 note is Nation Building: shaping the political, legal, and social structures for democracy and equality. The back of the note features images that highlight the advancement of democracy and equal rights in Canada. The front of the note features a portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's longest-serving prime minister.

The Bank of Canada plans to upgrade the security features of the $10 bank note from the Canadian Journey series in the spring of 2005. The upgraded security features will resemble those found on the new $20, $50, and $100 notes from the same series. The note's theme and images will not change.

Bank notes from previous series remain legal tender. For more information on Canadian bank notes and their security features, visit www.bankofcanada.ca/en/banknotes/.

Note to Editors:
  • A CD with images of the front and back of the new $50 bank note, as well as a beta tape with footage of the production of the new $50 bank note and its security features, are available to the media upon request.