Canada Introduces New ePassport: Wait A Sec’… Something Doesn’t Look Right

On July 1st 2013, our passports went through extreme makeover, Canada-style, making them both more attractive and secure. These new ePassports feature an embedded chip which stores one’s personal information, and 36 pages of iconic Canadian imagery representing our Country’s heritage.

Upon perusing these images, I began to notice two very problematic trends.

1) While a significant number of the images depicted historical scenes, events and landmarks, those which pictured people vastly underrepresented women. Take a gander for yourself as below I have included all pages which contained humans.

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One female… Nellie McClung. BECAUSE SHE’S FAMOUS!

My concern is not even so much that Passport Canada has failed to included more famous women, but even as a general representation of ‘common folk’, where are all the ladies at?

I’ll go back and use The Last Spike image, #11, as an example because it took me only about 17 seconds to find another photo of that same event.

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This was found by searching the Canadian City of Vancouver Archives with the original being in frozen storage requiring 24 hours notice to view. So, as this is clearly a legitimate historical photograph which confirms that there were two sexes present at the ceremony, I question why the one chosen for the ePassport could not have included a single female? 

And to give you one last thought to mull over, in 2012, women outnumbered men in Canada by 262, 205! Thats 262, 205 people who have a right to be going “Hey, wt*?”. Am I wrong?

2) Did you noticed anything else missing from the new ePassport images? I’ll give you a hint. FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE? I open the floor to your opinions expressing whether you think the following sufficiently encompasses the significance of Aboriginal culture in our “home and native land”…

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If you read my earlier post regarding the trafficking of First Nations women on U.S ships, you will already know where I stand on the issue of First Nations oppression in Canada, and this is just another classic example supporting my argument.

They are correct, that is a symbol of ‘Aboriginal Peoples In Canada’. And….?

What do these ‘peoples’ look like? Are they the ones sitting proudly around the table in images 8-9? No, in fact, those are the gentlemen who played a fundamental role in the irreparable abolishment of many parts of the Aboriginal culture.

So, is this new ePassport really a positive improvement, and further to that, has it been successful in accuratley and fairly representing the diversity in Canada? Or, has it actually done the opposite?

(Thanks to Passport CanadaGender Focus, Statistics Canada, and City of Vancouver Archives)

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