Statement by Governor Mark Carney on the $100 Bank Note
The $100 bank note celebrates Canadian medical innovation. In the early stages of developing the themes of all the bank notes in the polymer series, focus groups were used to test what types of images best evoke the themes. One of these was a photoshopped image based on an original photograph of a South Asian woman looking through a microscope.
As is always the case, in the subsequent design of the actual $100 note the designers created an original set of images from the ground up. On the actual bank note the researcher was drawn so as to not to resemble an actual person. Therefore, the final image did not look the same as the photoshopped image shown to the focus groups.
All of this occurred in the early design stages before the final design was presented to, and approved by, myself and the Senior Deputy Governor.
In the development of our $100 bank note, efforts by the bank note designers to avoid depicting a specific individual resulted in an image that appears to represent only one ethnic group.
That was not the Bank's intention and I apologize to those who were offended - the Bank's handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably expect of us. We will be reviewing our design process in light of these events. Our bank notes belong to all Canadians, and the work we do at the Bank is for all Canadians.