New Canadian $5 celebrates the space programme

I'm pretty fond of the design of the new Canadian plastic $5 note, which is much improved if you draw Spock ears, eyebrows and hairline on old Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

The new Canadian $5 bill has just destroyed every single other piece of currency in the world (IMO) (



    1. If the existing plastic 100, 50, and 20 are anything to go by, the scan doesn’t do it justice – the paper notes look much better than the plastic ones when you’re looking at a scan on a screen, but the plastic ones are very nice whn you’re looking at the physical object.

    2. Hmm, I am usually picky picky about such things but I think it’s drop dead gorgeous.

  1. The link to the Laurier-Spock modification is for the “new old” bill – the one the plastic note will be replacing.

    1.  I’m worried about the new plastic bills making Spocking the Laurier on fivers more difficult; ie maybe you’ll have to be pickier with the markers you use to avoid smearing, etc.

      1.  I don’t know what Spocking the Laurier sounds like, but it sounds like something…A dangerous trimaran sailing maneuver?

        1. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s like making a mushroom out of George Washington’s head.

          At least I hope that’s what it’s like.

        2.  Spocking the Laurier is when the lead sweeper performs an Ollie off the brush end of the broom, allowing the stone to pass underneath. It’s one of the signature “moves” in the Parkour-influenced sport Freestyle Curling X-Treme. It’s also the title of my planned indie Freestyle Curling documentary, Spocking the Laurier: Freestyle Curling’s Journey from the Wildcat Rinks of Etobicoke to the Bright Lights of Regina.

        3.  Seriously, though, there’s an example above in the link just below the picture of the bill.

  2. I always appreciated the late David Rakoff’s take on the Canadian view of NASA:

    “In fact, if you were to ask most Canadians, what you think the space shuttle is for, they’d say, oh, you know, to go up and move stuff around in space with an arm.”

      1. It’s on the international space station.

        How do Americans get up there again? Oh, right. The Russian Space Program.

  3. Odd that they have two types of maple leaves on that note.  Near the 5 is a leaf of a Norway maple, but the correct Canadian symbol of the Sugar maple is used in framing the images on the left.

      1. Thanks.  I thought I had seen a story about this. I guess I saw it at the link you linked.  It seems silly that Canada would retrench in getting its own national symbol wrong.  This seems like the equivalent of the US using a golden eagle rather than a bald eagle.

      2. Fixing it? Canada is a land of immigrants. Why is it a mistake to show a leaf of an immigrant tree? Stop this unfair discrimination against immigrants!

        Norway maples have been in Canada since before Confederation, which means they’ve been here longer than the ancestors of most of the people complaining about them being on the new currency.

    1. my roomate’s mom makes $61 hourly on the laptop. She has been without a job for 6 months but last month her income was $14452 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on  Zap22.c­om

      1. I feel like it’s happened so many times recently that I find out later that a thing/person I loved is Canadian after the fact…

        1. It’s part of a secret Canadian plot, we often Candianize people after they become awesome.  We do an Orwellian rewriting of history to make them retroactively born here or one of their parents a Canadian.  

          Neil deGrasse Tyson, I believe you’re up next! 

          We also liberally claim awesome people as a Canadian if you were actually born here, even if you lived most of your life elsewhere, if you permanently came here to live at one point, or if you were a cast member on a science fiction show filmed here.

        1. Untrue, sir!  I certainly do not feel the same way about, say, Alex Trebek, Peter Jennings, Rick Moranis, or Alanis Morissette.

      1. Yeah, but look what we’re stuck with. But back on topic, an issue with plastic bills is that they can stick together, and you end up handing someone a pair. But who uses cash, anyway?

      2. That would be incredibly exciting and restore my faith in humanity but, in fairness, I’d feel the same way about almost anybody other than the current one.

  4. Shame they have the wrong leaf on it. You would have thought that would have been fixed when they got slammed for it with their first designs. Perhaps we will be able to use our money in Norway too. 

    1.  I had that exact same hallucination back when I was experimenting with LSD.

    1. I suspect there’s somebody’s specimen on the wrinkled fiver in my pocket.

  5. BTW, I convert Quatloos to Bitcoins or other currencies in case you need someone for exchanges. I peg the Quatloo to the Loonie.

    1. Americans only hitch a ride into space with Russians to a Canadian run station


  6. Canadian here. Hate hate HATE the plastic bills. They bond together with a static cling, so well that it’s very easy to accidentally overpay by a multiple of the bill in question.

    1. They bond together with a static cling,

      Really? I have never seen that in Australia. If anything ours are always a bit crumpled and tend to stand away from each other. Maybe you need to run your new currency in.

    2. I have this problem too. One time I was even SURE I had made sure there was only one bill.

      I assume this will go away once they get used a bit though.

  7. It’s a nice looking note, apart from the rather dated font for ‘Canada’, but dammit are we ever going to stop patting ourselves on the back for the ‘Canadarm’, i.e what the rest of the world has only ever referred to as the space shuttle’s ‘utility arm’?
    It’s kind of sad.
    I would have preferred a nice picture of Mount Rundle, or Long Beach

  8. Canada’s really going nuts with the whole robot arm thing, huh? 

    I’m picturing the distant future of space travel, when the peaceful explorers of the United Earth space fleet ply the ultraviolet mists of the hyperspace lanes, on moon-sized world ships AND THEY’VE ALL GOT A ROBOT ARM! (…yeah okay thanks Canada, good job)

  9. I think it was the Engadget title that read “Canada is dominating the space currency race”. Brilliant

  10. See this great Kate Beaton comic on Spocking Wilfrid Laurier:

    I like the design of the new bill, but will miss the existing one with the hockey scene and a quote from the great Roch Carrier story The Hockey Sweater:

    Les hivers de mon enfance étaient des saisons longues, longues. Nous vivions en trois lieux: l’école, l’église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.

    The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places—the school, the church and the skating rink—but our real life was on the skating rink.

  11. Love it. However, as much as I dig the Canada robot arm, I think it would have been equally important to honor our actual astronauts. How hard would it to find room for a couple of head shots?
    A quick 2 second wiki for candidates:
    Robert Brent “Bob” Thirsk: Spent nearly 205 days in space.
    Roberta Bondar: First Canadian woman in space.
    Chris Hadfield: First Commander, and First space walk.

    1. Generally speaking, the only living people to be pictured on money are dictators.

  12. Will no one think of the poor counterfeiters? LOOK at that damn bill! You’d NEED to be a government to make one of those. Who will feit our counters now?

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