I would like to clarify several points concerning Canada’s new ePassport for your readers, following a recent Canadian Press article. The article may have left the incorrect impression that the redesign unveiled on Friday did not represent all Canadians more specifically women and visible minorities.
The Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. study published on Oct. 30, 2012, found that many participants in the focus groups felt there should be more images of women, and more inclusions of Canada’s diverse communities. Passport Canada did change some of the images to reflect the comments received in focus groups.
I would note that the overwhelming majority of participants reacted favourably to the images, which were subsequently tweaked to incorporate the constructive suggestions we received to enhance the images: there are female RCMP officers represented (second and third from right); and a young girl playing hockey (with the puck, number 12); and there are visible minorities playing football (holding the ball) and in the RCMP image (second and last officers from the left).
We honour Nellie McClung and the other women of the Famous Five, who have played an instrumental role in the recognition of equality for Canadian women in all aspects of life.
Canada’s cultural diversity is an important part of its history and is honoured in many areas of this passport. For example, the passport displays a beautiful image of Pier 21 in Halifax, a port of arrival for hundreds of thousands of new Canadians since its founding. This striking two-page spread draws attention to the importance of immigration to Canada’s past, present and future.
In designing the new ePassport, we were careful to select iconic Canadian images that are representative of Canada’s history. These images showcase the building of our great nation, and offer an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about Canada and promote our unique identity all over the world.
We’re confident that this is a document that all Canadians would be proud to carry.
Chief executive officer