OTTAWA - Disclosing details of behind-the-scenes discussions about tales of melting banknotes could endanger national security or international relations, says Canada's central bank.

In response to a formal request from The Canadian Press, the Bank Of Canada released 134 pages of internal records — almost completely blanked out — concerning allegations its new polymer bills melted in the scorching summer sun.

The bank began issuing $100 polymer banknotes in late 2011, saying they were harder to counterfeit than paper notes and would last much longer. It has since released $50 and $20 notes, with $10 and $5 ones due this year.

Unconfirmed reports of cooked currency emerged in July when a Kelowna, B.C., bank teller said she had heard of cases in which several bills had melted together inside a car. Soon after, a photo of scorched $100 bills surfaced in Ontario — purportedly after they were stored in a metal can next to a baseboard heater.

The bank swiftly denied that its new bills could be affected by heat in these ways.

The records released under the Access to Information Act show the reports stirred up not only a flurry of media interest but a series of emails over more than a week among bank officials, including Gerry Gaetz, the chief of currency, and Erik Balodis, a scientific adviser.

The bank declined to make Gaetz available for an interview.

In an emailed response to questions, bank spokesman Jeremy Harrison said the institution has seen nothing since the reports first emerged to change its initial assessment.

"The Bank stands by its statements made this summer that polymer bank notes cannot be affected by the types and levels of heat as has been suggested in last summer's news reports, and has seen no evidence to the contrary," Harrison said.

He noted the bank had performed "extensive and rigorous tests" prior to issuing the notes, including exposing them to extremes of 140 C and -75 C.

But the bank isn't willing to reveal much about its internal deliberations concerning the allegedly baked bills. Almost all of the pages released under the access law — with the exception of some email headers and previously processed media lines — were blank.

The bank invoked eight sections of the Access Act to withhold this material, invoking exemptions relating to:

— confidences obtained from another government;

— injury to international relations, defence or security;

— facilitation of an offence;

— injury to the financial interests of a government institution or the ability of the government to manage the economy, or provision of an undue benefit to someone;

— personal privacy;

— confidential information supplied by a third party;

— advice from officials or accounts of deliberations;

— testing and auditing procedures.

Harrison would not say how release of the information might endanger national security or international relations, or how it could interfere with the government's ability to manage the economy.

"That information is confidential," he said. "I cannot provide you any more detail than the explanation for the exemption applied."

The bank acknowledges that notes can be mutilated or damaged, including through exposure to fire or water, and offers a redemption service. "The notes are carefully examined by a specially equipped team at our Ottawa laboratory, and all claims are assessed in accordance with the Bank's reimbursement policy," Harrison said.

Since the polymer series began circulating in November 2011, there were 232 cases of mutilated polymer notes submitted to the bank through last October, says the bank. That compares to an average of 3,000 total cases of mutilated notes per year.

"While we do not provide a breakdown of those 232 cases as to the type of damage or mutilation, number of notes, or denominations, we have seen nothing from experience with the new notes that challenges our previous statements," Harrison said.

"For context, as of October 2012, there were more than 220 million polymer notes in circulation," he added.

Harrison refused to say whether the bank consulted another government in response to reports of melting currency, as suggested by the exemptions applied to the records.

"What I can tell you is that bank notes printed on polymer material have been used successfully in many other countries for years — places like Australia, Mexico, Nigeria and Singapore, all of which have climates far hotter than in Canada."

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  • The New $5 Bill

    Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039417/sizes/c/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>

  • The New $5 Bill

    From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8694157272/in/photostream" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>: "Robotics innovation is Canada’s ongoing contribution to the international space program and demonstrates our commitment to space exploration. The Canadian-built Mobile Servicing System is the sophisticated robotics suite that helped to assemble the International Space Station in orbit. This system consists of Canadarm2, Dextre and the Mobile Base. On board the space station—a permanent orbiting research laboratory—international partners conduct scientific experiments, many of which result in an enhanced quality of life on earth. Canada’s contribution to the space program evokes pride and sparks the imagination and curiosity of our future leaders in science and technology."

  • The New $10 Bill

    Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039429/sizes/c/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>

  • The New $10 Bill

    From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039423/in/photostream" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>: "The expansion of the railway in the 1880s was hailed as a remarkable feat of engineering for a young country with a varied and often treacherous terrain. At the time, the railway was the longest ever built, and its completion demonstrated Canada’s pioneering spirit by linking our eastern and western frontiers, connecting people, and facilitating the exchange of goods. Today, The Canadian train, winding its way through the Rockies showcases Canada’s natural beauty and symbolizes what we accomplished as a young nation."

  • The New $5 And $10 Bills

    Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney unveils the new polymer $5 and $10 bank notes during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $5 And $10 Bills

    Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unveils the new polymer $5 and $10 bank notes during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $10 Bill

    A new polymer $10 bank note is displayed during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • Astronaut Chris Hadfield Displays The New $5 Bill

    Astronaut Chris Hadfield poses for a photo with a new polymer $5 bank note on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $20 Bill

    Hand holding up the new polymer Canadian $20.00 bill.

  • The New $20 Bill

    Some new polymer twenty dollar bills, which is the most widely used bank note in the country, are pictured at Montreal on November 19, 2012.

  • The New $20 Bill

    The Bank of Canada introduced the plastic see-through $20 bill on May 2, 2012.

  • The New $50 Bill

    Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney holds a new $50 bill while standing in front of the Canadian Coast guard ship Amundsen Monday, March 26, 2012 in Quebec City. The Amundsen is displayed on the back of the new bank note made of polymer.

  • The New $100 Bill

    Bank of Canada Mark Carney shows off the bank's new circulating $100 bill, Canada's first polymer bank note, in Toronto on Monday Nov. 14, 2011.

  • The New $100 Bill

    The $100 bill was the first of Canada's paper denominations to go plastic and see-through.

  • Australia's polymer note

    An Australian 100 dollar polymer note is displayed above various international currencies. AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD

  • Australia's polymer note

    AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD

  • Mexico's polymer note

    A Mexican pesos note made out of polymer material. Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

  • Mexico's polymer note

    Mexico City, MEXICO: A sample of the new 50 Mexican pesos' note made out of polymer material to hinder its forgery, 14 November, 2004 in Mexico City. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Next: Twitter Jokes About New Bills

  • Andrew Coyne

    Even that would be better. @InklessPW: Wells designs new bills. What'll we put on the 5? Oscar Peterson. The 10? Peterson. 20? Glenn Gould

  • Cory S.

    Wait so there's no more quote from the Hockey Sweater on the new $5 bills? #manifencours

  • Tabatha Southey

    New bills should be 5 pin bowling for the $5, a Robertson screwdriver for the $10, a Canadian flag, draped over a picnic bench on the backs.

  • LauraBeaulneStuebing

    Theory about the new $5 and $10 bills: They're ugly enough that we don't want to keep them in our wallets.

  • Paul Wells

    Paul Wells designs the new bills. "What'll we put on the 5?" "Oscar Peterson." "And on the 10?" "Oscar Peterson." "20?" "Glenn Gould."

  • Wesley Fok

    Was expecting the new $5/$10 bills to literally have pictures of poop on them, based on the outcry. Surprise: they look like money!

  • Patrick Meehan

    Q: You're the federal government, what do you put on the new 5$ and 10$ bills? A: Things you've cut funding to. http://t.co/jqT3BLmENc

  • Jason Rehel

    Everyone is pretty damn hung up on the AESTHETICS of the new $5 and $10 bills in Canada. Me? I'd like money that WORKS in vending machines

  • Brittlestar

    @Cmdr_Hadfield Dude, with all the stuff you’ve had up there (guitars, Easter eggs, new $5 bills), how BIG was your suitcase?