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New polymer bank notes released

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney holds a new $100 bill in Ottawa on June 20, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The last of Canada’s polymer bills have been released by the Bank of Canada.

The $5 and $10 notes were made public at joint news conferences on Thursday in Vancouver and Longueuil, Que.

The $5 bill symbolizes Canada’s contribution to space exploration, depicting Canadarm 2 and Dextre on the back of the bill.

On hand at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil was astronaut Chris Hadfield, who unveiled the bill while on the International Space Station last April.

The $10 bill pays tribute to Canada’s railway, featuring the ceremonial last spike of the CP Railway.

Polymer versions of the $100, $50 and $20 have already been released.

The new notes were introduced into circulation gradually beginning in 2011.

The last denominations are being put into circulation beginning Thursday.

The bills are touted as “safer, cheaper and greener.”

Canada’s central bank says the notes are expected to last between two and three times longer than their predecessors.

Do you miss the old notes? Share your thoughts in the comments?