Canada's New Passport Is Being Slammed & Canadians Are Calling Out The Removal Of Terry Fox

Many aren't fans of the new look.

​The cover of the new Canadian passport. Right: A page from Canada's passport featuring Terry Fox.

The cover of the new Canadian passport. Right: A page from Canada's passport featuring Terry Fox.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Katherine Caspersz | Narcity

Canada's passport just got a brand new look, with a cover-to-cover redesign that was unveiled this week, but some people aren't fans of the new document.

Canadians have taken to social media to bash the new passport, sharing their displeasure with its colours, cover and removal of iconic Canadian elements.

On Wednesday, May 10, officials unveiled the brand new Canadian passport, which features a newly designed cover, several new security features and pages now in shades of yellow, orange, purple and green.

Notably, the new passport features artwork highlighting Canada’s diverse people, landscapes and wildlife but no longer contains images of iconic moments from Canadian history.

This means that images like Terry Fox on the Marathon of Hope or Vimy Ridge, which appear in the current passport, won't be in the new document. Many Canadians have taken issue with the change.

Organizations, public figures and everyday Canadians alike have taken to social media to express their disappointment with the new passport design.

"Justin Trudeau deletes from our passports the memory of the 3,598 soldiers who died at Vimy. He is ungrateful," said Leader of the Opposition Pierre Poilievre, while quoting a tweet from the Vimy Foundation in response to the new passport.

In a statement, the foundation said it "understands the need for security, but is disappointed in the decision to remove one of Canada's most important icons, which comes just one month after the 106th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge."

Dan McTeague, a popular gas price analyst, called the removal of Canadian history moments "truly sad."

"Truly sad - a country that forgets its history," he wrote on Twitter. "Trudeau is wrecking Canada one woke step at a time."

Many specifically called out the removal of Canadian icon Terry Fox. Brad West, the mayor of Fox's hometown of Port Coquitlam, B.C., said that whoever made the decision to remove Fox from the passport "needs to give their head a shake."

Other users expressed similar sentiments.

"It's not that Canada's passport redesign is ugly it's that it's soulless. They removed Terry Fox, Vimy Ridge, the last spike going into the Canadian Pacific Railway, Nellie McClung," wrote one Twitter user.

"Terry Fox and the heroes of Vimy Ridge have been scrubbed from the Canadian passport and replaced with random geese and a narwhal? Awful. Who approved this?" wrote another person.

Others took issue with the new colouring of Canada's passport, calling it childlike.

"'Canada IS a serious country' he insisted, while unveiling passport photos that can double as an activity placard for my toddler," wrote one person in response to colourful images of the passport pages.

"Canada's new passport looks like a grade 3 colouring book," another person said.

On the other hand, some people called out the uproar itself, wondering if Canadians would have known about the images in the old passport at all if not for the redesign.

"The biggest problem facing Canada today is WE CHANGED THE PICTURES IN THE PASSPORT. Until today, only about 10 Canadians knew what the pictures were in the passport," said one Twitter user.

The Canadian passport redesign began in 2013 as a regular process to "prevent counterfeiting by integrating new and more modern security features and design techniques," according to a press release.

In the unveiling of the new passport, officials said the new imagery reflects feedback they heard during a consultation process for the redesign.

"The consultation process asks us to build into the design certain considerations around the importance of Canada's natural environment, the diversity of Canada's people, and the need to celebrate indigenous communities," said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on Wednesday.

He also noted that changing the images makes it harder for counterfeiters to reproduce the passport.

"But to be absolutely clear, we're extremely proud of Canada's history. I don't think there's a single person, regardless of their political perspective, who isn't extremely proud of the Marathon of Hope, who doesn't want to continue to commemorate the service of our veterans," Fraser said.

The rollout of the new passport will begin this summer and will continue throughout the year.

Katherine Caspersz
Katherine Caspersz is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.