Honouring the past, protecting the future

Dave Stewart
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Yolande Gallante checks out the security points of the new $20 polymer bank note that is now in circulation. The new bill features the Vimy Ridge memorial on the back.

The Bank of Canada is honouring the country's veterans and fighting counterfeiters at the same time.

It held a press conference at the Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in Charlottetown Wednesday to unveil the new $20 bank note and toss it into circulation.

Mark O'Brien, P.E.I.'s member on the board of directors for the Bank of Canada, was joined by Charlotte Stewart, acting deputy minister for DVA, at the press conference.

The introduction of the $20 note is part of the new polymer series. The new $50 and $100 polymer notes are already in circulation.

The difference in this case is the $20 note is the most used denomination in Canada. There are currently 800 million $20 notes in circulation.

An image of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial is featured on the country's new $20 bill. It's intended to commemorate the 1917 victory at Vimy Ridge in France and also features an updated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

The new $20 note has a holographic security feature, raised ink and metallic image printed on a transparent window that is supposed to make it harder for counterfeiters to duplicate.

"There is no other currency like them,'' said O'Brien. "The unique combination of transparency, holographic and other sophisticated security elements makes them world firsts. It ensures we are staying ahead of counterfeiters.''

It was certainly no accident that the new note was unveiled during the week leading up to Remembrance Day.

"It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Sadly, it was not,'' Stewart said, referring to the First World War. "It was a war that changed the world . . . and now we have a bank note that recalls part of the past today.''

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Bank of Canada, Department of Veterans Affairs

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Canada, Vimy Ridge France

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  • Gord
    November 08, 2012 - 11:26

    I was on duty with the Canadian Forces in 2009 when I received the H1N1 shot (AREPANRIX by GSK GlaxoSmithKline) and had a severe adverse reaction resulting in PERMANENT neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms: dizziness, vertigo, irregular heart rhythms, shortness of breath, muscle weakness and pain, and numbness in hands and feet. My physical fitness changed from special forces fit to that of a 70 year old in a matter of days. I advised the military doctors that my change in health occurred following the H1N1 vaccination and although they noted my concerns on 8 different occasions, they did not investigate the link. Due to the severity of my symptoms I was unable to continue performing my duties and was released from the military. Following my release, the military determined I was disabled and altered my release record due to the severity of my symptoms. Two years later Alberta's health officer in charge of the Immunization program for Alberta reviewed my medical history and verified I had an adverse reaction to the H1N1 vaccine. I applied to Veterans Affairs for disability benefits and was denied on 3 separate occasions. Even though I was on duty training personnel when I received the vaccination, Veterans Affairs stated “There is no evidence that your barriers to reestablishment are related to your service time”. Regarding another application, a Veterans Affairs doctor reviewed my file and stated my condition was not related to service, ignored medical information from several of my doctors, altered the conclusion of one of my neurologists reports, and speculated that had the military determined my diagnosis was related to service there was no medical treatment that would relieve my symptoms. I forwarded this report to my neurologist who indicated the doctors conclusions were false and that he should have consulted a specialist who was familiar with my condition and symptoms. Veterans Affairs admitted the doctor had made errors, but refused to review the original application advising me to appeal the decision through an Administrative review which would take another 6 – 8 months. Since I left the Canadian Forces 19 months ago I have been hospitalized on numerous occasions totalling 30 days. Spent more than $10,000 paying for medication and therapy to manage my symptoms. I am now unable to afford the specialized physiotherapy which costs thousands of dollars each year and am unable to work due to my disability.