New $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

10 March, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Viola Desmond takes her place as Canadian civil rights icon with new $10 bill    
     The Canadian PressMar. 8 2018 7:30

Speaking at a ceremony in Halifax, Desmond's sister Wanda Robson told the crowd she was delighted to see her sister on Canadian currency.

And on Thursday, the late activist was honored during the rollout of a new $10 bill that features her image.

Desmond's sister, Wanda Robson, was also at Thursday's unveiling and got the first look at the new bill in a video by the Bank of Canada.

"We have symbols in this country that talk to us about what we're all about as a nation".




While her civil disobedience was remarkable, Grosse said racial segregation and systemic discrimination was once commonplace in Nova Scotia. Her name now graces a Halifax Transit harbour ferry, a Canada Post stamp, and there are plans for streets named in her honour in Montreal and Halifax and a park in Toronto. "It's lifelike. It's as if she is in this room with this new $10 bill".

"I'm numb with joy", Robson said at the time of her sister's pardon.

Isaac Saney, a senior instructor of black studies at Dalhousie University, said many Canadians are unaware that slavery and segregation existed here, and often know more about USA civil rights icons than those in Canada. Desmond, a beautician and entrepreneur from north end Halifax who sold her own line of cosmetics, was headed to Sydney, N.S., when her vehicle broke down. That was the day when she entered a theater in the town of Glasgow and made a decision to sit in the "White' Only" section instead of the balcony where "colored people" were relegated. Desmond, who was short-sighted and could not see properly from the back, sat in the floor section and refused to leave. "She's not leading the movement because he was ahead of his time".

In 2010, more than six decades after she was arrested, Nova Scotia apologised to Desmond and pardoned her - a posthumous pardon signed into law by Mayann Francis, the province's first African Nova Scotian lieutenant-governor. And when I say suffered, I don't mean that you just couldn't do anything anymore.

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