* Picture of Asian woman on banknote removed after
* Bank of Canada makes rare apology, first since 2003
OTTAWA Aug 20 In an unusual move, Bank of
Canada Governor Mark Carney apologized on Monday for bank note
changes that prompted critics to accuse the central bank of
The initial design for the new C$100 note featured a picture
of an Asian woman but this was scrapped after focus groups
expressed concern Asians should not be the only ethnic group
When the bill was released into circulation last year, the
Asian woman had been removed and replaced by a woman who looked
to be Caucasian, prompting complaints from Chinese groups and
In the bank's first formal apology in nearly a decade,
Carney said the Bank had never intended bank notes to feature
people who represented only one ethnic group.
"I apologize to those who were offended. The Bank's handling
of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably
expect of us," he said in a statement.
"We will be reviewing our design process in light of these
events. Our bank notes belong to all Canadians."
The issue of minorities is sensitive in Canada, which has a
sizeable Chinese population.
Carney said the image shown to focus groups had been
photoshopped from a picture of a South Asian woman.
The last time a Bank of Canada Governor issued a statement
of apology was in October 2003, when David Dodge said he had
wrongly attributed U.S. growth forecasts to then Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan.