Bank of Canada

Regular page >>

Quick Legal Facts

Reproducing bank notes: What is the law?
Reproducing images of Canadian bank notes without the formal permission of the Bank of Canada may contravene both criminal and civil law. See our Bank Note Reproduction Policy for more information.
What is "legal tender"?

A "tender" is an offer of payment of a debt. In Canada, legal tender consists of coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint and bank notes issued by the Bank of Canada.

This does not mean that a merchant is obliged to accept bank notes. The method of payment can be whatever is mutually acceptable to both parties — cash, credit card, cheque, etc. Thus, a merchant may refuse to accept bank notes in payment for goods or services, without contravening the law.

Bank Notes

Law Enforcement

The Bank of Canada works closely with law-enforcement agencies throughout Canada to ensure that they have the tools, training, and support they need to effectively combat the counterfeiting of Canadian bank notes.

Communication and education
The Bank offers specialized learning resources to the law-enforcement community.
Compliance and enforcement
The Bank is committed to providing the law-enforcement community with the knowledge, tools, and support it needs to effectively investigate counterfeiting and prosecute offenders.
Counterfeiting statistics
The RCMP publishes annual statistics on the number of counterfeit notes passed and seized in Canada.
Counterfeiting subcommittee for prosecutors

The Bank has joined forces with federal, provincial, and territorial heads of prosecution to establish a counterfeiting committee. The group first met in October 2003 and meets annually to discuss sentencing precedents, facilitate training for criminal justice professionals, develop material and resources for prosecutors, and establish a communications network.

Law-Enforcement Award of Excellence for Counterfeit Deterrence

Established in 2004 by the Bank of Canada, this award is presented annually to police officers who demonstrate outstanding commitment and initiative in the fight against bank note counterfeiting. More information.