This week, after reviewing over 600 nominees, the Bank of Canada announced its shortlist of eight candidates to appear on our next $5 bank note.
All eight are worthy nominees and should be honoured in different ways. That said, two candidates have so much in common that I feel they would make an “ideal couple” to grace our next $5 bill.
These are two of the most iconic figures ever to appear in our rich social history: Lotta Hitschmanova and Terry Fox.
Each was a source of deep inspiration and each made a lasting impact on generations of Canadians: Lotta, in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s; Terry, in the 1980s onwards.
Coming from different backgrounds and supporting different causes — Lotta, international development and social justice, Terry, raising awareness for cancer research — they both became, arguably, Canada’s two greatest fundraisers.
Each defied the odds in making their mark on Canadian society. Terry battled through his cancer to inspire so many others through his Marathon of Hope. Lotta lost her parents in the Holocaust, arrived in Canada as a penniless WWII refugee and spent the rest of her life mobilizing Canadians to care for people in far off lands, to take action and to help.
They truly are two sides of the same humanitarian coin, or should I say $5 bill.
I do hope that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and her advisors will give this idea some serious thought and reflection.