Eliminating the Penny by Robert James

March 9, 2013

In Canada’s quote “Economic Action Plan” unquote, the Government of Canada announced the elimination of the penny from Canada’s coinage system. However, the penny will retain its value indefinitely and can continue to be used in payments. The Royal Canadian Mint has stopped manufacturing new pennies, and has already begun melting them for scrap. The hope is that since pennies have been withdrawn from circulation, the price of cash transactions will be rounded… Pennies are rounded, but as most Beach residents noticed; it’s not in their favor. The Royal Canadian Mint put’s it down to retailer confusion; our readers put it down to posturing, poaching, and penny-pinching! Let me give you an example, one Kingston Road convenience store refuses to give pennies back as change, will never round down two cents, and don’t think about taking a penny out of the tray as they will not accept them. No matter what you buy, be prepared to cough up a nickel for the change and another nickel for the privilege of not having to stuff your winter coat’s pockets with purchases for the cold walk home. While mooching our change seems to be the norm now in our franchised world, some store owners still stick to the community based general store motto. The customer is our family is what the owner of Ce-Bon Variety says, right across the road on Kingston. When Larry’s at his cash register plastic bags are always included and if you are a little short with the grocery bill, you can always square up the next time you drop in. The federal budget announcement of 2012 eliminating the penny quoted the cost of producing a cent at 1.6 cents. The final penny was pressed in the mint’s Winnipeg plant last May. And don’t think of saving ‘em for anything other then your coin collection, the Canadian Currency Act says that “a payment in coins … is a legal tender for no more than … 25 cents if the denomination is one cent.” In other words, the penny is still legal tender so long as you don’t spend more then a quarter’s worth at one time. Why is Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance so concerned about saving half a penny when they budget an ungodly sum every year to the Royal Canadian Mint to redesign and engrave new quarters and loonies? Is celebrating Indian culture, some French sailing ship or the Saskatchewan Roughriders really worth it so our tax dollars can get jammed in vending machines? The Department of Finance requested I remind you that they continue to consult with Canadian citizens on all aspects related to the elimination of the penny… They just don’t care what we have to say!

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