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The Bank of Canada needs a new person for the five dollar bill. Should it be Gord Downie?

Stephen Poloz, the governor of the Bank of Canada, recently said that the bank is looking to put someone new on the five dollar bill and that Canadians would be consulted on the choice.

There have been an avalanche of suggestions. Here are the ones leading the way.

  • Terry Fox (the favourite so far and being promoted with the tag #FoxForFiver)
  • Roberta Bondar (Canada’s first female astronaut)
  • Nellie McClung (Canadian suffragette)
  • Gord Downie

This is the same sort of consultation that resulted in Viola Desmond for the $10 note. She was a Black woman from Nova Scotia who fought racial discrimination back in the 1940s.

More here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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13 thoughts on “The Bank of Canada needs a new person for the five dollar bill. Should it be Gord Downie?

  • Unfortunately, now you could add Neil Peart to that list.

  • Please, no “celebrities”. I think Terry Fox is a good candidate, Laura Secord maybe…….

  • Terry Fox for sure, but definitely not Gord Downie. I get the Hip were incredibly popular during the 90s, but this honour shouldn’t go to a celebrity of the music world (if it was to go to a celebrity, how about Neil Peart would be a more deserving candidate).

    • I personally think Gord would be a better candidate than Peart, given his impact on Canadian culture internally, and given his work on Indigenous issues throughout his life, but I think the problem with musicians in general is that not everyone has the same opinion of their work. One person’s “poet of a generation” is another’s “overrated hack” – absolutely not saying this is the case about either Peart or Downie, I’m just saying that there’s a subjective nature to music that doesn’t exist when looking at a philanthropist or other major national figure, such as Terry Fox, and his or her accomplishments.

      I suppose this argument could be made about politicians as well but a) I don’t think that our politics are as divisive as it is down south (for now – thank god) and b) even if you don’t like a PM as a result of your own beliefs, I think you can at least (hopefully) respect and appreciate his or her stance as a world leader.

  • What if we have Gord Downie as the our front man and Terry Fox taking care of our back on the 5 Dollar bill..

  • Ridiculous idea. DEFINITELY keep any pop culture celebs and anymore politicians off all the money. Look to humanitarians including life-savers.

  • Yes , indeed Terry Fox for sure. I appreciated Gord that is for DAMN sure & so would love him on the 5’r but indeed , no pun intended, Terry covers more ground & an absolute NO to Neil Pert. No period.

  • I will be the first one to throw out a negative comment on first nation reconciliation.. but if u want to honour Gord, honour reconciliation.

  • How about recognizing someone important to indigenous people? I am not one that knows much about their history or people of great importance. Maybe having someone on the bill will help some people of Canada to learn more about their cultures and the past.

  • Terry Fox for the beginning of a BIG fund raiser 🥂🍀

  • Neil Peart. Greatest drummer ever. Poet, musician, philanthropist, Forty years dedicated making music that inspired generations. A Canadian icon. A humble, driven man who along with his band mates stayed loyal to this country and never forgot where they came from.


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