The ‘Fox Fiver’: Port Coquitlam wants Terry Fox to be the new face of the $5 bill

The City of Port Coquitlam is encouraging residents to nominate Terry Fox as the new face of the $5 bill.

The city’s website now features a link to a Bank of Canada voting page which asks people to nominate the next “bank NOTE-able Canadian.”

“This is Terry’s town, this is where he grew up,” said Coun. Steve Darling.

“We encourage all of our citizens to go online and nominate Terry for the $5 bill,” he said.

Terry Fox shows his artificial leg to then prime minister Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa July 2, 1980, during his Marathon of Hope run across Canada. (The Canadian Press)

In January, the Bank of Canada announced it would let the public have a say about who would replace Sir Wilfred Laurier who has been the face of the $5 bill since 1972.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West has written letters to Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, and federal finance minister Bill Morneau in support of Terry Fox’s nomination, according to Darling.

Fox, considered a national hero, spent his formative years in Port Coquitlam.

Terry’s legacy

In 1980, the 21-year-old athlete — who had already lost a leg to cancer — started his ambitious Marathon of Hope to raise money and awareness for cancer research. 

Terry Fox smiles from his hospital bed while watching the nationally televised telethon Sept. 9, 1980, to raise money in his honour, a week after he was forced to quit his Marathon of Hope. (Andy Clark/Canadian Press)

He died before he could complete his journey, but in the process raised over $24 million. 

The foundation created in his name has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research in the four decades since Fox’s death.

Dave Teixeira, the organizer of the Terry Fox Hometown Run in Port Coquitlam wants to see Fox named in time to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his historic fundraising journey, September 20, 2020.

“The ‘Fox Fiver’ would be a great way to honour him,” said Teixeira. “And also remind us that maybe it’s time again for us to dip into our pockets to give a little bit more to help bring an end to cancer.”

Pallbearers carry the casket of Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox out of the church at his July 2, 1981, funeral. (Canadian Press)

Close to 300 Canadian’s are in the running to be the face of the next $5 bill including:

  • Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin.
  • Billy Bishop, First World War flying ace.
  • John Candy, comedian.
  • Emily Carr, artist and writer.
  • Jane Constance Cook, First Nations activist.

“It’s our turn to help the Terry Fox family foundation by getting him on the $5 bill,” said Darling. “He deserves to be there.”

A short list will be developed from among the nominated candidates when the contest closes March 11. That list will be submitted to the minister of finance, who will make the final decision. 

The Bank of Canada said it expects the new $5 note to be in circulation “in a few years.”

Terry Fox during his Marathon of Hope run across Canada, Sept. 1980. (Canadian Press)

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