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Canadian money to be entirely plastic by 2013

The Bank of Canada recently announced that it plans to replace the nation’s paper currency with plastic bills. The new polymer notes are designed make counterfeiting Canadian money more difficult, with translucent windows and raised ink. Each bill will have a see-through maple leaf on one side and a larger, transparent section on the other that will contain color-shifting images, CNN reports. Another nifty attribute of the polymer notes is that, while they can be folded, they will not crease and will always retain their original shape.

“The Bank is combining innovative technologies from around the world with Canadian ingenuity to create a unique series of bank notes that is more secure, economic and better for the environment,” said Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada. The new bills will last more than twice as long as their paper counterparts, which makes up for the fact that they will cost about twice as much to produce.

Polymer money has been adopted in many countries and the plastic bills have proven to be more economic, hygienic and effective in reducing the rate of counterfeiting. In Australia, the notes have reduced the amount of efforts and funds that are dedicated to combating counterfeiting operations, and made the validation of currency 82 percent more efficient than with paper notes, according to PolymerNotes.org.

In 2001, Canada began to see a dramatic increase in the amount of counterfeit bills and by 2004, officials found approximately 470 counterfeit notes per million bills in circulation, which Governor Carney states is a record high. People who are living or working in Canada can have their friends and family members wire money directly to their bank accounts through a money transfer service to lower the risk of encountering fake bank notes.

“These bank notes evoke the country’s spirit of innovation, and their designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space,” said Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance.

The $100 bill will be released in November 2011, and the new design will feature an updated portrait of Sir Robert Borden, who served the nation as Prime Minister between 1911 and 1920. It will also include images that reflect Canadian innovations in the field of medicine, such as the invention of the pacemaker and the nation’s involvement in mapping the genetic code.

In March 2012, the Bank will issue the polymer $50 bill. This note will focus on the influence of the northern frontier of Canada’s culture, and it will have a new portrait of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, who served two terms in the mid-1900′s.

By the end of 2013, The Bank of Canada states that it will issue polymer $20, $10 and $5 bills. The $20 will be dedicated to Canadian involvement in world conflicts and feature Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is currently the constitutional monarch of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Bahamas and 12 other sovereign states.

Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Canadian Prime Minister, will grace the $10, along with “The Canadian,” a transcontinental train that travels on what was once the longest railway in the world.

Canada’s contributions to the international space program will be recognized on the $5, and they will share the space with Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Laurier served as Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911 and was the first French-speaking Canadian leader.

Many people will transfer money online to their friends and family in Canada so they can get their hands on the new plastic bills as they are put into circulation.

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