Bank of Canada introduces new $50 polymer notes

OTTAWA (CNW) -- Canada's new $50 polymer notes have arrived just in time for spring.

These innovative notes will continue to provide Canadians with access to world-class bills that are more secure and also last at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes. Polymer notes are as easy to handle as paper bills but feel different so they may take a little getting used to.

The new $50 note uses transparency and metallic imagery like the polymer $100 but this time around, the design on the back takes us to Canada's northern frontiers with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen.

The Amundsen is a research icebreaker that you'll see pictured at sea on the back of the note, along with a map of Canada in the background. The symbols at the top of the note spell "Arctic" in Inuktitut, a language of northern Canada's Inuit people.

What's so special about the Amundsen? Aside from being an icebreaker that keeps waterways of the St. Lawrence open come wintertime, the ship provides scientists with a new window of discovery into the mysterious Arctic waters. A team of researchers under the umbrella of ArcticNet partnered with the Canadian Coast Guard to retrofit the ship in 2003. The result was a state-of-the-art floating laboratory that gives the world's oceanographers, geologists, ecologists and human health researchers unequalled access to Canada's arctic stretch and its gruelling conditions.

One of several unique features on this vessel is a 'moon pool'—a hole at the bottom of the ship that lets scientists deploy instruments such as a remotely operated vehicle to explore the depths of the Arctic Ocean, even while the ship is surrounded by thick sea ice. The Amundsen is also the only icebreaker in Canada equipped with a multi-beam sounder, allowing researchers to map the Canadian Arctic seabed.

There are still three more bills to come in the new Polymer series. The $20 will be released later this year followed by the $10 and $5 by the end of 2013.

Visit for more on the new notes and a video on their innovative security features.


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