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Terry Fox floated as 'no brainer' choice for new $5 bill
Runner Terry Fox is pictured on his Marathon of Hope run across Canada, Sept. 1980. (CP PHOTO/ files)
VANCOUVER -- When Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz revealed the bank will be asking the public who to put on a new $5 bank note, Canadians were quick to respond.
Some suggestions floated on social media have included Canada's first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar, suffragette Nellie McClung, and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.
But one of the most popular suggestions is Terry Fox, a young man from Port Coquitlam, B.C. who became a beloved Canadian hero when he attempted to run across Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer research.
While Fox died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 22, his memory lives on, with charity runs organized in his name across Canada and the world.
On Friday, the hashtag #FoxForFiver was trending on Twitter, with many social media users calling Fox an obvious choice for the honour and a “no brainer.”
Dave Teixeira is a Port Moody resident who has organized a Terry Fox Run in Fox's hometown of Port Coquitlam for the past 18 years. Teixeira said he's been a fan of Fox since he was 10 years old and watched Fox run past cheering crowds in 1980 in Mississauga, Ontario.
"He seemed to have this selfless energy. He was doing this to help others, and I like that he had a goal – $1 for every Canadian," Teixeira said.
"He wasn't doing it to become famous, he was doing it to bring awareness to cancer in 1980."
Teixiera added the choice would be extra meaningful if the decision is made in 2020, because this year is the 40th anniversary of the start of Fox's Marathon of Hope.
In his Thursday Fireside Chat briefing that mostly focused on economic topics, Poloz said the bank will soon be launching public consultations about who should be featured on a new $5 bill.
"This will be similar to the public consultations that led to the selection of Viola Desmond for the $10 note," Poloz wrote. "This time we will be asking all Canadians to nominate any historic Canadian—someone who is truly banknote-able."
The bank's release of a new $10 bill in 2018 featured Desmond, a Black woman from Nova Scotia who fought against segregation in that province in the 1940s.
Poloz went on to say that the bank will release more details about how Canadians can get involved in the process to design a new $5 bill at the end of January. The main reason for creating a new version of the bank note is to introduce new security features, Poloz said.
"I would say, our currency as Canadians is kindness, perseverance, dedication, tenacity – all of those elements are in Terry Fox," Teixeira said. "So if you're looking for someone to immortalize on a piece of currency, a $5 bill, no one better than Terry Fox to do that."