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Canada Discontinues Pennies On May 4, 2012 Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was on hand at the Royal Canadian Mint to see the last penny roll off the line. Six weeks earlier he had announced that Canada's one-cent coin would be discontinued. An overwhelming majority of Canadians applauded the government's decision. Most felt the move was long overdue. Citing low purchasing power and rising production costs, the government decided to phase the penny out of existence starting in the fall of 2012, when the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to financial institutions. Over time, that will lead to the penny effectively becoming extinct, although the government noted that one-cent coins will always be accepted in cash transactions for as long as people still hold on to them. The value of the penny has decreased to about 1/20th of its purchasing power in the last 100 years. Indeed, the lowly penny has fallen so far that Ottawa described it as a "burden to the [Canadian] economy" in a pamphlet explaining the change. In part because of rising prices for the metals it's made of, it actually costs 1.6 cents to produce every penny. The government estimates it loses $11 million a year producing and distributing the penny, and that doesn't include the costs and frustrations for businesses and consumers that use them in transactions.
Tags: pennies  Canada  numismatics 
Added: 29th March 2012
Views: 985
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2012-03-29 
It was long overdue. I've been advocating this for a decade.

The USA ought to folow suit--and get rid of $1 bills and replace them with more durable coins too. Most of the world has gone that way.
Posted by: donmac101 on 2012-03-30 
Howyou gonna spend a penny now? Oh wait. The last time I remember using a publc convenience it cost 25p's.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2012-03-30 
For those of you unfamiliar with the British slang term used by donmac101, 'to spend a penny' means to make a trip to the restroom.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2012-03-30 
I just heard on the news today that the American government likes the idea of discontinuing the penny and may follow Canada's lead.
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