Canada is getting a new loonie today in recognition of 50 years of progress for LGBTQ2 rights. The Royal Canadian Mint officially revealed Canada's new loonie on Tuesday during a ceremony in The Village in Toronto. It's the world's first circulation coin to commemorate LGBTQ2 rights.
According to a press release, those who attend the ceremony will be able to swap out their pocket change for the new coin at the end of the celebration.
Here's what the new coin looks like:
For collectors, there is also a colour version, bright with the hues of the rainbow pride flag:
The new coin will be circulated throughout Canada as regular tender. According to a report by CBC, the coin comes as part of new legislation which was set into motion after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to Canada's LGBTQ2 members for the country's past discrimination against the community.
Trudeau's apology went far beyond mere words or the announcement of a new circulated coin. The apology came with a $145 million budget, $110 million of which will be used to compensate former civil servants who faced discrimination for being gay. $15 million will be funnelled into education, reconciliation efforts and plans for memorialization.
Despite the efforts by the government to apologize for the country's troubled past with LGBTQ2, many in the community are still critical of the gesture. The coin, in particular, has caught heat for representing a milestone that many believe to be superficial. The new loonie represents the date that homosexuality was made legal in Canada, however, according to CBC, the legalization was only partial, and many in the gay community were still arrested after the so-called legalization of homosexuality was passed.