By Jessica Faught
(WINDSOR, ON) – It’s been talked about for some time now, by the powers that be, however it is now a reality.
It’s copper, its tiny, and worth a whole cent. The penny is now becoming a coin of the past.
The Canadian government recently announced that it’s now in their budget for the Royal Canadian Mint to stop producing and distributing the penny. The ones in circulation will still be accepted by business who chose to receive them, but come the autumn, all businesses will be asked to return pennies to their banks.
The decision has been made that the coins will be melted and recycled.
Before the fall, Canadians can continue to use pennies to pay for things and the one-cent piece will retain its value indefinitely.
According to Alex Reeves of the Mint there is no end date as they don’t know how long this process will take.
So how are businesses handling the financial transactions?
For non-cash sales, cheques, credit and debit cards, and electronic transactions, all will be handled in the usual manner to the nearest cent.
For cash purchases, the government wants all businesses to round the final total bill of sale, after the tax has been added to the subtotal. If the sum ends in an one, two, six, or seven, the total sale will be rounded down to O or 5. The amount owing will be rounded up if it ends in three, four, eight, or nine.
Of course our next question would be, “How much does it really cost?”
It actually costs 1.6 cents for the Mint to produce each penny and the government estimates that eliminating the penny will save taxpayers around $11 million each year.
Canada first issued coins in 1870, although a Canadian penny was not introduced until 1876. The penny has been in use in Canada since 1858, which is the same year the province of Canada took on the decimal system.
So what significance does the penny have to you?
I can remember when I was a child, I purchased a glowing bouncy ball with three one dollar bills and two dollars in pennies from my penny collection. The lady was very patient, and kind.
I was talking to my grandmother who says one of her favourite pastimes was taking my mom and her younger brother to the candy store to buy some penny candy. Many believe that there is magical significance to the penny and for years have thrown pennies into wishing fountains for good fortune. All a thing of the past now.
Au revoir and goodbye Mr Penny. Thank you for fun times.