It was on International Women’s Day, thanks to a petition started by Merna Forster on change.org, that a public consultation was launched to select an iconic Canadian woman to be featured on the first bank note in Bank of Canada’s next series. Over 460 iconic Canadian women met the qualifying criteria through the bank’s selection process and the long list was set in April this year.
Merna Forster helps prove that the adage is true, one voice can raise the voices of many. Forster is from British Columbia’s provincial capital, Victoria, and her petition has brought about recognition to an overlooked wrong that required “righting” – and that she did with an impressive 73,402 signatures. 
The Advisory Council of Bank of Canada (BoC) recently announced: “We believe that the nominees for the bank note should have broken or overcome barriers, be inspirational, have made a significant change and have left a lasting legacy. We applied these four criteria in reviewing each of the 461 eligible unique nominations.
“We also developed operating principles which guided us as we finalized our first recommendation of 12 nominees. We recognize that Canada is comprised of many different communities. The women who appear on our list should resonate with Canadians and reflect the diversity of Canada. Their achievements must be seen in the context of the time they lived.”
The BoC’s open call for nominations ran from March 8th to April 15th 2016, and the Bank said it received over 26,000 submissions. For those who wish to see the long list, the names of all four-hundred-sixty-one (461) iconic Canadian women who met initial qualifying criteria, it is located here on the BoC website.
And now, the short list has been set, with the following twelve inspirational women as the finalists to be considered for the honour of their image on a Canadian bill.
You can go to Bank of Canada’s website and cast your vote on which women you think should be featured on Canada’s new bank notes. Use the link below.
It was last year, October 22nd, 2015 that Malala’s petition posted the press release of a successful campaign – requesting the Global Partnership for Education provide free and safe education for girls worldwide. Support poured in on behalf of education for all; and on the day the petition closed, 1,108,071 people worldwide stood #withMalala.
Not only did her petition surpass its goal of one-million signatures, but because Malala gave a voice to the girls in Syria and Nigeria for example, together they secured the education funding requested. The Global Partnership for Education announced its plans to support and expand to a full twelve years of primary and secondary education for even the poorest children and youth.
“My courageous friend, sixteen year-old Muzoon from Syria, goes from tent to tent in her refugee camp in Jordan encouraging girls to stay in school. My sister Amina from the North of Nigeria, where Boko Haram threatens girls for simply wanting to learn, mentors younger girls who continue to want to go to school,” writes Malala.
In Malala’s words: “None of this would have been possible without your support. Because of you, many more of our sisters around the world will now have the chance to receive an education. Your support will have an enormous impact on their lives, the lives of their families, their communities, their countries, and the world. Thank you for standing #withMalala and raising your voice for millions of girls around the globe. Together our voices can change the world.
“In September, world leaders will commit to 12 years of free, safe, quality primary and secondary education for every girl and every boy in the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment holds tremendous promise for my sisters demanding more for their lives. But a commitment only counts if a commitment is kept. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) must lead the way in upholding this commitment, just as it has led way in supporting 9 years of education for millions of children to date.
“The GPE is a major funder of education in some of the world’s poorest countries. It makes possible incredible work to help students all over the world, every day. When countries give money in foreign aid for education lots of it goes to the GPE, and in December its Board of Directors will determine how that money will be used by over 60 nations around the world.”