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Anti-pipeline activists hack the Canadian Dollar

Anti-pipeline activists hack the Canadian Dollar



The Canadian Dollar Coin is known domestically as the “Loonie” because of the bas-relief image of a great northern loon (designed by Robert-Ralph Carmichael) on its reverse.

The loon is somewhat of an icon in parts of Canada in which it is endemic, as a shy aquatic bird whose mournful evening call is an essential part of communing with nature.

So it’s particularly jarring the way that Ecology Ottawa has “hacked” the Loonie with a black decal to protest the proposed Energy East cross-Canada oil pipeline:

Hacked Loonie Energy East

The image of our beloved loon in the middle of an oil spill is pretty unsettling.

According to Ecology Ottawa:

This campaign aims to increase awareness about these dangers by distributing hundreds of thousands of loonies with a clear plastic decal with the link. Inquiring minds, like you, will check out the website and learn why we so strongly oppose this pipeline and why they should be concerned.

They also claim that this protest does not break Canadian laws against “defacing currency.” They ask anyone who visits to sign a petition, donate to print more decals, or order some for themselves.

(Coincidentally, low international oil prices are currently driving down the value of the Loonie.)

Today is the first time I’ve spotted one of these coins (it showed up in a colleague’s change from lunch). Has anyone else had a sighting?

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more