A modest proposal

There’s been a lot of talk about who should replace our late Queen on the $20 bill. King Charles is an obvious candidate, but let’s consider some alternatives first. We sure don’t need another former prime minister. We already have Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the $5, Mackenzie King on the $50, and Robert Borden on the $100. Queen Elizabeth is also on the $1,000 bill so there are actually two openings available, although I can’t imagine anyone other than a criminal actually having any $1,000 bills.
Former Finance Minister Bill Morneau made a brilliant choice when he selected Viola Desmond for the $10 bill, thereby picking a woman of colour who made an important statement about civil and women’s rights. In that same mode, for our $20 bill, we could go with someone like D’Arcy McGee, Canada’s first nationalist, who was assassinated for his trouble. Or Louis Riel, who fought for Metis rights. Poundmaker, the rebellious Cree leader who was recently exonerated for his treasonous ways, is another possible honouree. Or, if we sought to go totally consumer-oriented, we could use the Shopify logo, a tribute to all Canadian start-ups.
But here’s my modest proposal: Andrew Jackson. Yes, he’s on the US$20 bill, and my idea is that we seize this opportunity to ditch the C$ and embrace American currency. Think of the ease of traveling to winter vacations in Florida or Arizona using the cash already in your pocket. With our dollar valued at a paltry 73 cents U.S., our lives would be vastly improved because we’d no longer pay that one-third premium on goods coming into Canada that were priced in U.S. dollars.
Just think about the number of items we buy that are made in the U.S. or abroad that are already priced in US currency before they cross our border: fruit, vegetables, books, clothing, manufactured goods, household appliances, you name it. A currency switch to the US$ would add one-third to everyone’s purchasing power and mean your paycheque or pension goes much further. |
Such a spurt to spending would boost our economy and keep interest rates lower than they otherwise might be. Adopting the US$ would also mean that our productivity would improve from the depths of despair where it now sulks. Canadian exporters who have enjoyed a built-in advantage because of the cheap C$ would have to change their lazy ways and become more competitive.
The US$. What’s not to like?

3 Responses

  1. Dominic D'Alessandro says:

    This is really one of your wackiest ideas…..it’s tantamount to giving up our sovereignty…..where do you think interest rates would be set….and you couldn’t just print the US$ in Canada….Rod, you got this one dead wrong…

  2. Susan Edwards says:

    I vote for Alice Munro.

  3. Frank Grossman says:

    Your working assumption seems to be that C$ would be converted at par with US$, and hence “A currency switch to the US$ would add one-third to everyone’s purchasing power …” Not so sure that Americans would be willing to bear the cost of this maneuver. Adopting the US$ would also directly expose Canadians to the hazard of partisan debt-default ceiling debates, as well as the minor issue of greenback’s future as the global reserve currency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *