The Canadian Dollar is the official currency of North America’s largest country. It is often affectionately known as the “loonie” by foreign exchange traders and indeed many Canadians themselves, on account of the image of a common loon (a popular choice to be the national bird of Canada) which is present on the one dollar coin.
Being originally created as part of the British Empire, the pound was the original official currency, but with the increasing economic and political power of its geographical neighbour the United States, it became more practical to forge closer links to the US dollar. The local population had a clear preference for a decimal, dollar based currency, whereas the ruling British Government across the pond in London was desperate to maintain the link to sterling. Thus, in the mid-19th Century, there was a great deal of struggle over which currency system to adopt. This coincided with a growing movement toward independence from their old colonial masters across the Atlantic.
Various attempts at compromise were proposed, but the gradual re-alignment with the dollar continued, and with the hindsight of history, seemed inevitable. By the 1860s, the vast majority of the Canadian colonies had converted to a decimal, dollar based currency, so that by the time of the 1867 passing of the British North America Act, which officially established Canada as a self-governing entity within the British Empire, the Canadian dollar was already the official currency throughout the vast majority of the new Dominion.
The gradual increase in autonomy and independence from the British continued, with more provinces and territories continuing to join the new Dominion of Canada. It was not until 1931 however, that independence became official, with the passing of the Statute of Westminster. This declared the political independence of previous colonial territories such as Australia and Canada, whilst maintaining an obligation to retain allegiance to the British monarch, who remained as nominal head of state.
The continuing path to greater independence was continued as recently as 1982, when the Canada Act was passed by the UK Parliament, finally removing the need for Canada to consult the UK over issues relating to its own constitution. Canada at last had achieved complete control over its own constitution and laws for the first time. It does still remain a member of the British Commonwealth, and the Queen retains her honorary role as head of state.
The importance and prestige of the Canadian dollar has risen with this increasing political and economic independence. By the 1970s it had developed and evolved into a fully-fledged international reserve currency, aided by the decision to enable the Canadian dollar to float freely against all the other international currencies. It is now a major traded currency on the international financial markets, being particularly widely held by foreign governments and central banks as a reserve currency. By some measures, it is the 5th largest such currency, behind only the US dollar, the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen. This is largely because of Canada’s perceived political stability and its reputation for economic solidity and soundness.
The Canadian dollar is widely accepted as a currency on UK registered online bingo sites, and the most commonly used method of payment is via Canadian credit or debit cards.