Defacing currency in Canada isn’t against the law to begin with, but the Bank of Canada is letting everyone know that if they want to turn the former Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier into Mr. Spock, then they are free to do so. For years now, Canadians have been taking pens to their five-dollar notes and adding Spock’s signature haircut, eyebrows, and pointy ears to the likeness of the seventh prime minister of Canada. But as a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, who passed away last week, an online movement called “Spock your $5 bills for Leonard Nimoy” arose asking Canadians to share their versions of the money-Spocking.
However, there are always questions about the defacement of government property, so the country’s financial institution came forward to give the okay, with a caveat:
Contrary to what many believe, the Bank of Canada said Monday it’s not illegal to deface or even mutilate banknotes, although there are laws that prohibit reproducing both sides of a current bill electronically.
Nonetheless, bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard pointed out there are reasons to resist the urge to scribble on bills.
“The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Menard wrote in an email.
Aside from good old Canadian patriotism, the sharing of the image as a digital reproduction might be the biggest source of trouble here, even though everyone can clearly see that the intent is not to try to pass the images off as real currency. Menard also pointed out that drawn-on bills might not last very long in circulation and could be rejected by retailers.
But rest easy, Canada — Spocking your money is allowed. Feel free to live long and prosper.
Source: CBC News