Canada to put a new woman on its currency by 2018

canadian currency

Canada is redesigning its cash to feature a new woman.

The Bank of Canada made the announcement Tuesday, and -- just like the U.S. -- officials are asking for the public's input on which woman should be selected.

Related: Where is that $10 bill with a woman on it?

While the U.S. hasn't had a woman on its currency in more than a century, Queen Elizabeth has been the face of Canada's 20 dollar note in nearly every series since the Bank of Canada was founded in 1935. The bank's first series also had bills featuring Queen Mary and Princess Mary, Elizabeth's aunt. Other bank note series have pictured a female scientist and soldier.

But Canadian Minister of Finance Bill Morneau said that other than the Queen, women "have largely been unrepresented on our bank notes."

"In 2018, we will bring real change to a new generation of women who will carry with them constant reminders that they are not only Canada's future, but a celebrated part of our history," Morneau said in a press release.

Related: Scrap the $100 bill and make life tougher for criminals, Larry Summers says

The bank is asking Canadians to nominate which women an advisory council should include on a list that will be given to Morneau, who will make the final selection.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is making the same decision in America after first asking for public input last June, though it's unclear when his choice will be announced.

America's new bill is not expected to be unveiled before 2020, but the Bank of Canada said its new bank note will go into circulation sometime in 2018.

Related: Women on currency

When asked about Canada's quicker time frame, Bank of Canada spokesperson Josianne Ménard told CNNMoney that currency redesign is simply "a lengthily process." Both countries will need to update security features on the bill to combat counterfeiting, but Canadian cash already has a tactile feature that aids the blind.

Ménard added that the bank is not sure which denomination will feature a woman, but it'll be the first bank note of a new series to be released.

Nominees must meet a few criterion:

  • She must be Canadian -- by birth or citizenship -- "who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada," a press release from the bank says.
  • She cannot be fictional character.
  • She must have died before 15 April 1991.

The bank is accepting nominees through a website.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Princess Mary as Queen Elizabeth II's sister. Mary was Elizabeth's aunt.

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