'Our country needs more Terry Fox, not less,' wrote Port Coquitlam's mayor
Ottawa's decision not to include an image of Terry Fox in Canada's redesigned passport has been met with disappointment by some in his hometown of Port Coquitlam, B.C.
An image of Fox on his Marathon of Hope is one of several historical images featured in the pages of the current passport. The new passport displays animals and natural scenes, such as children jumping into a lake.
Brad West, mayor of Port Coquitlam — about 30 kilometres east of Vancouver — took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the change.
"Whoever made the decision to remove Terry Fox from Canadian passports needs to give their head a shake," West wrote. "Our country needs more Terry Fox, not less."
I’m the Mayor of Terry Fox’s hometown. Whoever made the decision to remove Terry Fox from Canadian passports needs to give their head a shake. Our country needs more Terry Fox, not less. <a href="https://t.co/1sHKHlRrUb">pic.twitter.com/1sHKHlRrUb</a>
Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser said the new design is the product of 10 years of consultation. A complete change in theme was needed to improve the passport's security.
"It makes it much harder to counterfeit," Fraser said.
Dave Teixeira, co-ordinator of Port Coquitlam's Terry Fox Hometown Run, says he is disappointed to hear Fox's image will not be in the new passports.
"Removing those images in place of very generic stock photos is really kind of a nod to what's important to them — ease and function as opposed to to honouring Terry," Teixeira said.
After losing a leg to osteosarcoma, Fox began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980, to raise funds for cancer research.
His dream of running across the country was cut short near Thunder Bay, Ont., when he learned that cancer had spread to his lungs. He passed away on June 28, 1981.
Volunteers have kept Fox's legacy alive by arranging annual runs to raise money for cancer.
The current passport also features historical images of the Fathers of Confederation, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, and the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
'A lost opportunity'
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre denounced the new designs in the House of Commons Wednesday, and charged the Liberals with attempting to erase essential Canadian history.
The Royal Canadian Legion also expressed disappointment that images of the Vimy memorial are not featured in the new design.
"Removing that image in the context of a design change and without knowing the rationale was, to put it bluntly, a poor decision,'' the legion said in a statement.
Teixeira describes the new passport as "a lost opportunity."
"Terry not being in a passport document may not be important in and of itself, I think what is important is how our country wants to represent our heroes in our key moments in our history."
This is what your next passport will look like
Citizen and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser unveiled the look of Canada's new passports, which include new imagery and security features.
With files from Michelle Ghoussoub, Richard Raycraft and The Canadian Press
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca