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Some key controversies and misunderstandings with new plastic bank notes

OTTAWA - Some key controversies and misunderstandings in the release of a new series of plastic bank notes by the Bank of Canada:

— The Bank of Canada misidentified Mount Edith Cavell and other peaks featured on the reverse of its new $10 bank notes, first issued last fall. Last week, the bank's website revised several of the names, dropping Mount Edith Cavell altogether. The bank said it was given misinformation by a supplier.

— Owners of vending machines said the devices were not able to digest plastic $20 bank notes released in late 2012, and blamed the Bank of Canada. The bank said it gave sufficient notice and technical information to the industry.

— The Bank of Canada purged the image of an Asian-looking woman from a draft of its new $100 bank notes, issued in 2011, after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity. The final image was made to look Caucasian. Then-bank governor Mark Carney later apologized for the process of vetting images and promised to change it.

— Claims that the Bank of Canada added a maple syrup scent to the new bank notes went viral on the web soon after the new $100 note went into circulation. A bank spokesman said no scent has been added to any of the new bank notes.

— Some botanists have claimed the new polymer bills feature a maple leaf from a species that's native to Norway, not Canada. The Bank of Canada denies that, saying the leaf images are stylized and from native Canadian maples.

— Some Canadians have alleged the new plastic bills are prone to melting when placed on a radiator or in a clothes dryer. The bank denies that, saying the bills were tested and designed to be impervious to normal heat sources.

The Canadian Press

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