Nova Scotia’s Viola Desmond will be the first Canadian woman to grace the front a bank note.
Desmond is often described as ‘Canada’s Rosa Parks’ for her decision to sit in a whites-only section of a segregated movie theatre in 1946. However, Desmond’s protest took place nine years before Parks went to sit at the front of the bus.
Desmond was jailed and tried for tax evasion, based on the difference in price between balcony and main floor theatre tickets. She was convicted, fined $20 (equivalent to more than $250 today). Later, she would hire a lawyer to appeal the conviction. They opted for a judicial review but the appeal was dismissed.
It was not until after her death that the Canadian government pardoned her and Nova Scotia apologized for convicting her of tax fraud and acknowledged that her protest was justified.
Desmond will appear on the front of the $10 bill in 2018.