Canada Replaces First Canadian PM On Ten Dollar Bill

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Canada unveiled a new $10 bill Thursday featuring black civil rights activist Viola Desmond, who replaces first Canadian prime minister and the father of Confederation Sir John A. MacDonald.

The bill is also the first vertical note ever issued by the Bank of Canada.

Desmond made her mark in history on Nov. 8, 1946 when she took on segregation in the province of Nova Scotia. That was the day when she entered a theater in the town of Glasgow and decided to sit in the “White’ Only” section instead of the balcony where “colored people” were relegated.

Desmond was removed from the theater, charged and fined for her act. Nova Scotia issued a posthumous pardon to her in 2009, decades after her protest and 1965 death.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau officially unveiled the bill in Halifax with the assistance of Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson, who noted, “Our family will go down in history — in history, imagine that.”

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