Canada gets rid of the penny

Canadian Penny
Posted at 12:04 PM, Feb 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-04 07:12:39-05

TORONTO, Canada (WTXL) -- Say good-bye to the penny; at least in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mint is officially ending production and distribution of pennies. The Canadian Press reports the move comes nearly a year after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the demise of the penny, whose production cost came to exceed its monetary value.

"Pennies have sat idle for too long in forgotten penny jars and couch crevices," said Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. "They demand too much time, for too little return, of our small business owners, and they cost too much to make: nearly 1.6 cents goes into every penny. It is time to bid the penny a fond farewell."

Pennies can still be used in cash transactions with businesses that choose to accept them, however businesses are now encouraged to round sales to the nearest nickel. It's a move that's expected to save Canadian taxpayers approximately $11 million every year.

ABC News reports the United States Mint made 4.9 billion pennies in 2011, costing $118 million to make just $49 million worth of pennies.

While former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson tried to eliminate the penny in 2008, experts say don't expect to see the penny go anywhere in the United States.