The Bank of Canada formally unveiled their new polymer banknotes on Tuesday at its main offices in Ottawa. Canada’s central bank representatives explained the new currency designs and the security features that will be included in the notes. Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty said that the note’s “designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space. Bank notes are cultural touchstones that reflect and celebrate our Canadian experience.”

New polymer $100 notes, on schedule to be issued in November 2011, will feature images that focus on Canadian innovations in the field of medicine. The obverse of the note will include an updated portrait of Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada between 1911 and 1920.

Security features of the note are two transparent areas that will be difficult to counterfeit yet be easy to check. Most prominent are two transparent areas: the larger area extends from the top to the bottom of the note and contains complex holographic features. The other is in the shape of a maple leaf. “The Bank’s objective with every new series is to produce a bank note that Canadians can use with the highest confidence,” said Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney.

RCMP Commissioner William J.S. Elliott added, “These new and technically innovative notes will go a long way to deter the threat of counterfeiting in coming years.”

The Bank of Canada issued a video showing off their new $100 note and the security features:

Une version de cette vidéo en français peuvent être trouvés ici.

In the mean time, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been silent on the production and potential release of the United State’s new $100 Federal Reserve Note. Release of the new note has been delayed since its scheduled February release date because of production problems.

“The single biggest obstacle to successful production was the tendency of the $100 currency paper with the three dimensional security ribbon to crease as the sheets of paper fed through the intaglio printing press,” BEP Director Larry Felix reported in the bureau’s 2010 Annual Report.

I tried to contact a BEP Media Relations representative about the status of the new notes. I was told there was no additional information available.

I ask again: With the new $100 note having printing problems, why has the BEP not looked into using the polymer substrate for U.S. currency? Why does the Federal Reserve, BEP, and Secret Service cling to 19th and 20th century printing technologies in the 21st century? Or is this a matter of “not invented here” to avoid alleged controversy by using a something invented by a foreign central bank?

It is time for the money producing cabal of the Federal Reserve, BEP, and Secret Service to face reality. They need to cut their losses with paper and look to the future for something better.

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