Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Canada unveils new $10 bill featuring female civil-rights pioneer Viola Desmond

Canada unveils new $10 bill featuring female civil-rights pioneer Viola Desmond

African-Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond has been honoured with a new $10 bill featuring her image, cementing her legacy as a trailblazer and activist who refused to accept prevailing attitudes about race and gender.

Canada's Finance Minister Bill Moreau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz assisted Robson with the unveiling.

About 110 years after the Royal Canadian Mint was founded, the first Canadian woman will be featured on the front of a standard bank note, just in time for International Women's Day.

The price difference between the floor and balcony seats would later come back to haunt her; Desmond was charged with tax evasion over the single penny.

The bill, which also features an eagle feather and an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was met by a standing ovation.

"As I said, the ultimate goal of our communications campaign is to drive different communities of interest to the core Viola Desmond/rights and social justice story - a serious and important theme", wrote Harrison.

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After being forced to travel to Montreal, Atlantic City and NY for training, she returned to Halifax and opened a beauty school aimed at offering black people a local option for training.

"We know more about Rosa Parks than Viola Desmond", he said. Stuck in New Glasgow overnight, she chose to watch a movie at the Roseland Theatre.

She was dragged out of the theatre by police, arrested, thrown in jail for 12 hours and fined. Desmond, a beautician and entrepreneur, selling her own line of cosmetics, heading to Sydney, Nova Scotia when her auto broke down.

"Viola Desmond made a special act of courage", - said Isaac, Cain, senior lecturer at Dalhousie University.

It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to issue Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and pardon.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for that", she said on Thursday.

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