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The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled Canada’s newest loonie today.
The new coin commemorates 50 years since Canada took the first step towards decriminalizing homosexuality.
It features the art of Vancouver-based Joe Average, along with the word ‘equality’ in both English and French and the dates 1969 and 2019.
Dubbed the 'Equality' loonie, people got their first look at the loonie when it was unveiled by the mint in Toronto today.
"Today is an important day for the LGBTQ2 community, and for all Canadians, as this commemorative coin enters circulation," said Randy Boissonnault, special advisor to the prime minister on LGBTQ2 Issues.
"It is an opportunity to reflect on a landmark event in our country's history, and a reminder of the progress still to be made as we work toward inclusion and equality for all LGBTQ2 Canadians."
This new ‘Equality’ loonie commemorates an important step towards equality for all Canadians. 50 years later, we reflect on the progress we’ve made, and are reminded of the work that still lies ahead.— Randy Boissonnault 🏳️🌈 (@R_Boissonnault) April 23, 2019
See my full statement here: https://t.co/zdjyd4p1VM pic.twitter.com/dw7Snz2heu
However, not all are behind the new coin and some advocates and historians are saying it suggests that equality has been achieved and largely as a result of the federal government’s actions.
Not far from today’s unveiling, a press conference was held by a group of activists and challenged myths surrounding the 1969 Criminal Code reform.
Tom Hooper, a York University historian who was involved in that press conference, wants their to be a public conversation about LGTBQ2 history, but admits that their campaign can’t compete with three million coins.
That’s how many of the new loonie will enter general circulation, with special wrap rolls of 25 uncirculated coins also available for purchase, which retail at $54.95.