Bank of Canada offers apology for 'Asian woman' banknote row
Ottawa, Aug 21 (IANS) Following accusations of racism, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney has apologized for the way in which the image of an Asian woman was eliminated from the initial design of the new Canadian 100-dollar bill that began circulating in November last year.
The Canadian Press, the Toronto-based national news agency, reported last week that the country's central bank dropped the image of an Asian-looking female scientist peering into a microscope after some members of several focus groups across Canada, enlisted to review the design in 2009, commented negatively, reported Xinhua.
After a report by the market research company that conducted the focus groups, the bank replaced the image of the Asian woman on the reverse of the 100-dollar banknote with a female scientist of "neutral ethnicity", but who appears to be Caucasian.
Carney said in a statement issued Monday that the researcher depicted on the plastic polymer banknote was drawn "so as not to resemble an actual person -- therefore, the final image did not look the same as the photoshopped image shown to the focus groups".
"Efforts by the banknote designers to avoid depicting a specific individual resulted in an image that appears to represent only one ethnic group", which was not the bank's intention, the governor explained.
"I apologize to those who were offended. The bank's handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably expect of us," said Carney, who added that his bank would review its design process "in light of these events".
The reverse of the 100-Canadian-dollar bill, with features including the image of the female scientist and the image of a bottle of insulin, a treatment for diabetes, is meant to celebrate Canadian medical innovation.
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