The design for Canada’s new high-tech passport was unveiled on Wednesday by Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
The new Canadian passport comes with state-of-the-art security features, including the bearer’s personal information engraved with lasers instead of printed in ink on its polycarbonate data page, making it more durable and resistant to tampering and counterfeiting. It also includes a Kinegram over the main photo, a custom see-through window with a secondary image of the passport holder, a variable laser image, and a temperature-sensitive ink feature.
But, with the snazzy new design, the Canadian passport shed some of its old, beloved aesthetic features, specifically images of historic moments, landmarks, and Canadians — including Terry Fox. The new design instead “celebrates Canada’s heritage and identity with iconic images of Canada’s natural beauty throughout the four seasons.”
This was not received well by some Canadians, including Brad West, mayor of Terry Fox’s hometown of Port Coquitlam. “Whoever made the decision to remove Terry Fox from Canadian passports needs to give their head a shake,” he said on Twitter.
He later went on CTV News to elaborate and say that he’s not the only one.
”Across this country, Terry Fox inspired and continues to inspire millions of Canadians and millions of people around the world. We need more Terry Fox, not less Terry Fox. I have already heard from hundreds of people who are having a very immediate and strong reaction to this,” he said.
“I hope whoever is making these decisions is listening and reverses very quickly what was a bad decision.”
IIRC Minister Fraser told CTV News that the decision for the new design was based on consultations with government departments, such Canadian Heritage and Indigenous communities.
“The new Canadian passport is more than a travel document; it is a representation of our national identity and values. It is a reminder of the beauty and diversity of Canada, and it reflects the country’s commitment to welcoming people from all around the world,” Fraser said in the press release.
According to the IIRC, the new passport will begin rolling out later this summer. As of this writing, there’s no word yet on their reaction to the backlash.
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