New $10 bill featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond debuts today


A daily who stood up for the rights of black people in Nova Scotia and went to confine for it was honoured Thursday, as the new $10 bill featuring her image was unveiled. 

The anyhow celebrating Viola Desmond was set to begin around 12:30 p.m. AT at the Halifax Inside Library, but a power outage delayed it.

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Her sister, Wanda Robson, was quantity those who attended a 2016 ceremony where it was announced Desmond had been elect from a short list of other noted Canadian women to be looked on the currency.

“I say thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Robson. “Our family pass on go down in history — in history, imagine that.”

On Thursday, Robson balmed unveil the design of Canada’s new $10 bill.

“Is this mine?” she asked Underwrite Minister Bill Morneau. When he offered to hold it for her, she joked, “You’re not securing it.”

After the unveiling, Morneau took the podium.

“I want to start by think that you need to know that this note is not yet in circulation until the end of the year, but Wanda is charge of hers,” Morneau said, smiling. “It tells you about the balance of power in this state.”

On Nov. 8, 1946, Desmond went to see a movie at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow while her car was sock fixed.

Desmond, 32, was dragged out of the theatre by police and jailed for defiantly hang back in the “whites only” section of a film house. Black people could contrariwise sit in the balcony of the theatre. 

The civil rights activist was convicted of defrauding the charge of a one-penny tax, the difference in tax between a downstairs and upstairs ticket, even still Desmond had asked to pay the difference.

She was released after paying a $20 pointed and $6 in court costs. She appealed her conviction but lost.

Desmond is over described as Canada’s Rosa Parks, even though Desmond’s act of defiance happened nine years rather than Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus.

Viola Desmond Bank of Canada

A portrait of Viola Desmond, circa 1940. The new Canadian $10 tally bears her image. (Communications Nova Scotia/Bank of Canada/Flickr)

Desmond is the essential black person — and the first non-royal woman — to appear on a regularly distributing Canadian bank note. (Agnes MacPhail, Canada’s first female colleague of Parliament, is one of four people featured on a commemorative $10 bill invented for Canada 150.)

“It’s a long-awaited sense of belonging for the African-Canadian community,” said Russell Grosse, top banana director of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.

“The launch of the tab sends people of African descent the message that Canada is for all accepting us. We belong.”

According to the Bank of Canada, Desmond’s court suitcase was the first known legal challenge against racial segregation brought presumptuous by a black woman in Canada.

Viola Desmond

It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to child Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and pardon. (Wanda Robson)

Pinch was legally ended in Nova Scotia in 1954, in part because of the publicity coin by Desmond’s case.

“Viola Desmond carried out a singular act of courage,” put about Isaac Saney, a senior instructor of black studies at Dalhousie University. “There was no motion behind her. She was ahead of the times.” 

It would be 63 years after her positiveness before Nova Scotia issued Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and let off.

Despite this, Desmond’s story received little attention until up to date years.

Her legacy is being increasingly recognized. Her name now graces a Halifax Cartage harbour ferry, a Canada Post stamp, and there are plans for roads named in her honour in Montreal and Halifax and a park in Toronto.

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