Culture&Arts

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

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

A new bill on the introduction of vertical banknote $10 with a picture of Desmond, was presented on the afternoon of 8 March the Minister of Finance of Canada bill Morneau and the Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz at the library Halifax Central Library.

Wanda Robson, the sister of Viola Desmond, smiles as the new $10 featuring her sister Viola Desmond is unveiled.

That's what makes the new $10 bill such a powerful act of acceptance, Grosse said.

Because she could not see well from the balcony where black patrons were relegated to sit, she sat on the floor level reserved for whites. Following the event, she was prosecuted for tax evasion. "Her legal challenge galvanized the black community in Halifax's north end and paved the way for a broader understanding of the importance of human rights across our country".

Harrison said the bank saw a lot of people engage with the website previous year because of the Easter egg, and it wanted to do something for the new $10 bill that would have the same kind of impact.

In 1954, Nova Scotia ended segregation, a move partially driven by Desmond's case.

Morneau said the deck was "doubly stacked" against Desmond because of her gender and the colour of her skin. "It's beyond what I ever thought".

HRM also named a harbour ferry in honour of Desmond, unveiling back in June 2016.

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

"We know more about Rosa Parks than Viola Desmond", he said. Desmond was dragged out of the theatre and arrested, ultimately spending 12 hours in jail. Nova Scotia issued a posthumous pardon to her in 2009, decades after her protest and 1965 death.

Apart from being an activist, Desmond was also a beautician and developed her own line of beauty products, Vi's Beauty Products.

"Viola Desmond carried out a singular act of courage", said Isaac Saney, a senior instructor of black studies at Dalhousie University. "She's not leading the movement because he was ahead of his time".

"You just can't spend it between now and the end of the year", he told her.