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Powerful Maritime women considered for faces of new Canadian money

Click to play video 'A Maritime woman could be the first woman on a Canadian bill' A Maritime woman could be the first woman on a Canadian bill
The nomination process is open to the public and there a re already more than 18-thousand nominations from across the country. There are several Maritime women who could make the cut. Shelley Steeves reports – Apr 7, 2016

One of many influential and powerful Maritime women are being considered to be one of the first Canadian women to grace Canadian money.

Margaret Conrad, a retired UNB professor, is the only Atlantic Canadian on the seven-member advisory panel tasked with short listing which iconic Canadian women should make the cut – and she’s rooting for the Maritimers.

READ MORE: Canadian woman to be added to new currency: Trudeau

“You know Muriel McQueen Fergusson is probably, if we were looking at political rights, she would be the New Brunswicker who would most represent that,” Conrad said Thursday.

“She was the first woman to sit on city council here in Fredericton and the first woman speaker of the senate.”

She says there area several other ideal candidates, including well known Nova Scotia civil rights activist Viola Desmond.

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Desmond challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in New Glasgow in 1946 by refusing to leave a whites-only area.

A mock up of what a bill with Molly Kool on it would look like. Global News
A mock up of what a bill with Lucy Maude Montgomery on it would look like. Global News
A mock up of what a bill with Muriel McQeen Fergusson on it would look like. Global News
A mock up of what a bill with Viola Desmond on it would look like. Global News

“You know, writers like Lucy Maud Montgomery would be an obvious example,” Conrad said. Montgomery is creator of the well know character Anne of Green Gables.

Donald Alward with the Albert County museum says Molly Kool, the first female sea captain in North America, would also be a great face to see on the new bills.

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Kool took over the helm of a ship called the Jean K in 1939 that hauled wood up and down the Bay of Fundy coast.

“She was a pioneer for women, obtaining recognition in a male dominated world,” said Alward.

He says Kool was recently voted as the most important person in Albert County.

“She cracked a barrier in North America and that’s not something that just anybody can say,” Alward said.

Conrad says all of these Maritime women, in her eyes, are worthy of representing Canada on any banknote. She only wishes the time will come soon when money is no longer a barrier for the women they represent.

“It’s ironic really that we are putting a woman on currency when we are still struggling for pay equity, but my feeling is it is not either or — we are doing both and this is one small symbolic gesture but I think an important one to have women’s faces in every arena of our life.”