Letter: Removal of Banting from coin disgraceful

Dr. Banting's life was impeccable and his achievements were astounding

Removal of Banting from coin disgraceful

It may interest readers of the Cowichan Valley Citizen to know that on May 26 the Royal Canadian Mint announced that they would be removing the image of Dr. Fredrick Banting, the Nobel prize winning discoverer of insulin and decorated World War I hero, from one of their commemorative coins. Yet another traditionally famous Canadian hero has been removed from the public eye in the interests of historical revisionism and deconstruction.

Dr. Banting’s life was impeccable and his achievements were astounding. While I can’t speak for Generation X or Z, those of us who are a little older were all taught about Drs. Banting and Best and why we should be proud of their achievements. Their discovery improved the lives of diabetics around the world and filled us all with pride in being Canadian.

But it’s not good enough, and he’s not good enough, anymore. No clear reason was given for his erasure from the coin. However, it was mentioned in a 2019 government directive entitled “Framework For History and Commemoration” that one of the driving forces behind the current changes is the confronting of colonialism and patriarchy.

It’s doubtful whether Dr. Banting was aware that he was being a colonialist or patriarchal oppressor when he spent countless hours developing the life saving drug that so many millions have benefitted from. But it is certain that if we keep removing our cultural heroes and the memory of so many wonderful Canadians, wiping them from the public square and our history, we will have very little left of the story of this country which we all profess to love so much.

Originally the Royal Canadian Mint was proud of Doctor Banting, describing his coin as “…tangible keepsakes for this life saving innovation. Insulin therapy has improved and saved the lives of countless millions.” Now they have replaced his image with that of lab equipment, while frantically searching for images of those whom they deem to be less mysteriously politically incorrect, regardless of how obscure and unimportant their achievements may be in comparison to Fredrick Banting’s. Sad and disgraceful. Those are the only words that can describe this unfair treatment of a great Canadian.

Perry Foster


Cowichan Valley Citizen