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Canada The Almighty Buck News

Canada To Stop Producing Pennies In 2013 362

Posted by timothy
from the thought-they-were-made-here-in-america dept.
First time accepted submitter master_kaos writes "Canada is going to stop producing pennies in February 2013 to help save the tax payers $11 million per year. Cash transactions will be rounded to the nearest nickel. Cheque/Credit Card transactions are not affected."
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Canada To Stop Producing Pennies In 2013

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  • Now we can just keep around stacks of cheques for one to four cents, and deliver to shopkeepers as needed.

    ...but honestly, I doubt the penny will vanish for another couple of years. Coin jars, coin jars everywhere.
    • Re:Excellent; (Score:5, Informative)

      by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:51PM (#42465791)
      Did you miss the part where it said purchases would be rounded to the nearest nickle?
      As a Canadian I can tell you that the pennies will disappear quickly, because the banks have been told to collect them.
      The place I get my morning breakfast has already started rounding to the nearest nickle. My breakfast comes to $3.66 total, and I am always asked for $3.65

      I for one, say "About bloody time!"
      • Re:Excellent; (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@ ... o.ca minus punct> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:18PM (#42466119)

        What's a penny? What's a nickel? ;)

        Here in Switzerland we have done away with them since a very very very long time ago. BTW a Swiss Franc is slightly worth more than a USD or CAD. I personally prefer it that way. Actually I prefer the debit transaction system we have. I can have a 100 CHF in my pockets and it will last me for about 1 to 2 months.

        The one dollar bill of the US just confounds me.

        • What's a penny? What's a nickel? ;)

          Here in Switzerland we have done away with them since a very very very long time ago.

          I guess Wikipedia is lying to me then, as it implies that the 1 rappen coin was in production until 2006 and the 5 rappen coin is still in production ("nickel" is the nickname of the USD and CAD 5 cent pieces).

          The one dollar bill of the US just confounds me.

          Good thing Canada doesn't produce dollar bills any more and instead uses the $1 loonie coin and $2 toonie coin.

          The US has had a $1 coin in regular circulation since 1999 (and special printings in 1979-1981 before that). However, the government hasn't been able to convince people to use them instead o

          • Re:Excellent; (Score:5, Informative)

            by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @04:08PM (#42466997)
            This is an example of US government stupidity. All they have to do is stop making $1 bills. The rest will take care of itself.
            In Canada the banks were told to collect $1 bills and turn them over to the mint. It took about a year for the $1 bill to disappear.
          • by DarthBart (640519)

            No, because the DERP squad is pumping out many megabytes of emails and Facebook postings that say "FWD: FWD: FWD: RE: RE: FWD: FWD Don't accept the dollar coins because they don't have 'In God we Trust'' on them!!!!!!"

          • The US has had a $1 coin in regular circulation since 1999 (and special printings in 1979-1981 before that). However, the government hasn't been able to convince people to use them instead of dollar bills.

            They don't have to persuade. They just have to stop printing dollar bills, and continue to withdraw used dollar bills that come into the banking system in a worn state. Problem solved.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Here in Switzerland we have done away with them since a very very very long time ago

          This is because in Europe the value-added taxes are built into the price, whereas here in Canada they are added to the price. As a result, you end up with an item priced at $6.99 costing costing $7.83 when it comes time to pay. You rarely see prices like that in Europe, so there's little use for a 'penny' or a 'nickel.'

          I do question cashier's ability to cope, though. Even today, if I'm buying an item that is $7.83 and

          • Re:Excellent; (Score:5, Insightful)

            by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @04:44PM (#42467593)

            I still can't fathom how posting "prices" that are different from what you actually pay may be considered a good idea.

            It adds to customer confusion, cashier's work, and the benefit is... what? That it stresses how much the government gouges you for? That's not useful for anything but a political statement, and if so, it should note the credit card robbery as well.

            • I believe prices SHOULD include all taxes, but to address your points -

              It adds to customer confusion

              Not really. The only customers who are confused are tourists from outside North America. Everyone here understands that when the price says $6.99 they will be expected to pay more than $6.99 - So no, there's no confusion.

              cashier's work

              Well, the cash register does all the math so there's little extra work other than the 1.5 seconds it takes to count out four or less pennies.

              and the benefit is..
              • by KiloByte (825081)

                The only customers who are confused are tourists from outside North America. Everyone here understands that when the price says $6.99 they will be expected to pay more than $6.99 - So no, there's no confusion.

                Which is a problem if you have only a small amount of cash on you, and don't know whether you're ok or you'll need to run to an ATM machine.

          • by jrumney (197329)

            I do question cashier's ability to cope, though. Even today, if I'm buying an item that is $7.83 and I present $8 and say "keep the pennies" the cashier becomes VERY confused. S/he's very used to counting out all the change, and leaving change in her drawer is puzzling to them. I guess once there are no pennies in there, the problem will go away.

            This is because the cashier is required to balance their till at the end of the day, and a discrepancy of more than a tiny threshold in either direction will have

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Garridan (597129)

        Damn straight! As an American expat in Canada, I truly truly hate returning to the states and getting a wallet full of ones. Having $1 and $2 coins makes money so much easier to deal with. I say let's go the next step now: throw out the nickel and quarter, and give us a $.50 piece.

      • Silly! Of course not. That doesn't mean I won't do it anyway.
        • by ZzzzSleep (606571)
          Oddly enough, this didn't happen in Australia when we got rid of our 1 and 2 cent coins back in 1991.
  • US military did this (Score:5, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:47PM (#42465749)
    Late 80's, on european bases. Round up or down to the nearest 5 cent increment. Worked like a charm. The only place pennies were taken was the Post Office.
  • It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Magorak (85788) * on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:48PM (#42465751) Homepage Journal

    I have wondered for years how long it would take us Canadians to finally get rid of that awful piece of currency. Especially given that it takes more money to produce it than it is actually worth. No one can buy anything with pennies anymore and they really are nothing more than just metal wasting space. Plus, vending machines have never taken them which has made them even more useless than before.

  • by JonMartin (123209) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:49PM (#42465773) Homepage
    The Mint stopped making new pennies last May (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/05/04/mb-canada-last-penny-mint.html). But they are still in circulation. What happens on February 4th is the Mint stops putting pennies it gets back into circulation. What is unclear is when exactly stores will be required to stop giving pennies out.
    • by kinadian (136810) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:17PM (#42466105)

      Actually, it's not unclear. Right in the Mint's website (linked to in the article): "Moreover, pennies can still be used in cash transactions indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them."

      The penny will remain legal tender for as the foreseeable future. As you stated, the only thing happening now is that the mint will no longer be distributing pennies after February 4th, 2013.

      It's not mentioned on the website, but I have also heard that if you bring your pennies to the bank on or after Feb 4, they will be collected and returned to the mint where they will be destroyed.

    • by T.E.D. (34228)
      It doesn't have to be a requirement. At some point they will be scarce enough that it will just be eaiser not to use them.
  • by retroworks (652802) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:58PM (#42465855) Homepage Journal
    We still have 9 tenths of a cent per gallon on USA gasoline sales. Maybe we can look forward to rounding it to a penny.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Nope, up here in Canada, gas is still sold in cents/litre. But when they get rid of the penny, they'll round the total. Watch as millions of Canadians pump just the right amount of gas into their tank so that the price is always rounded down.
      • by dskoll (99328) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:25PM (#42466243)

        I can't remember the last time I paid cash for gas in Canada. In fact, I think the only time in my life I paid cash for gasoline was in Florida when the pump wouldn't accept my Canadian credit card. I had to go in, give $50, buy my gas, and then go in again to get my change.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Nope, up here in Canada, gas is still sold in cents/litre. But when they get rid of the penny, they'll round the total. Watch as millions of Canadians pump just the right amount of gas into their tank so that the price is always rounded down.

        A quick reprogramming of the pump will fix that to always increment in 5 cent increments.

        So the first drop you pump, it would go from $0.00 to $0.05, then where it would've said $0.06-0.09, it would read $0.10. So the pump always magically rounds up.

        Of course, if you ch

      • Watch as millions of Canadians pump just the right amount of gas into their tank so that the price is always rounded down.

        Hey, that's most of a plot for a Superman VII movie. Or, Captain Canuck #1, as it were.

    • by ls671 (1122017)

      We still have 9 tenths of a cent per gallon on USA gasoline sales. Maybe we can look forward to rounding it to a penny.

      In Canada, they still have variable tenths of a cent per liter, !

      http://www.ontariogasprices.com/ [ontariogasprices.com]

  • According to this link [goldsilver.com], the U.S. is going to stop producing pennies and nickels in 2013.

    Though I'm not sure how much faith one can put into this article. I've tried looking for more concrete news about this, but I have yet to turn up anything. Anybody else hear about this?
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Though I'm not sure how much faith one can put into this article.

      I would have approximately no faith in that article, because the way that the company who wrote it makes its money is by convincing people to buy precious metals, which means it's in their financial interest to spread stories that create a potentially false impression that US currency is worthless.

      • They kindly provide a link to the "Original Source". It's a dead link, and to a site that doesn't look any more trustworthy than theirs.

  • It's all about zinc (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:12PM (#42466051) Homepage

    The US has pennies only because of lobbying from the zinc industry. [pennies.org] The U.S. Mint pays $0.011 [pennies.org] for a penny blank.

  • Making savings absolutely worthless for hundreds of years. The fact pennies are disappearing should cause concern - your money is worthless.
    • I'm fairly sure people will be able to convert their pennies to dollars if they have anything approximating a useful amount.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:33PM (#42466347)

    I hate pennies .. they are evil and need to be banished from the earth. But Americans would scream blue murder if the gubmint tried to take their precious away.

    But the funny/bizarre thing is that the US public has already been conditioned to rounding the bill through the use of the give/take-a-penny trays in innumerable stores across the country.

    • This reminds me of what happened when the $5 and over denominations were redesigned a few years ago. Tom Selleck, who turns out to be another crazy right-wing bastard, was interviewed and complained that our currency was now "funny money." No it's not... it was just redesigned, you prick.

      Yeah... you'd see a lot of the same idiocy getting rid of the penny and it would all be complaints about how change (no pun intended) is bad.

  • by jjo (62046) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @04:09PM (#42467035) Homepage

    The penny is just as pointless in the USA as it is in Canada. Of course, the USA is considerably behind Canada in recognizing the changes wrought by inflation. In addition to abolishing the penny, it should abolish the dollar bill and introduce a $2 coin as Canada did many years ago. (If you wanted to be really far-sighted, you could establish a plan for when to abolish the nickel and the $5 bill and introduce a $5 coin.)

    Unfortunately, currency reform would not only face stiff opposition from the zinc lobby (because penny is largely zinc now), but from the politically well-connected Crane Company in Massachusetts, which manufactures all of the paper used in printing US currency. The absurdity of vending machines and tollbooths needing to accept paper money (much more expensive than coins) counts for nothing as against a corporation with skilled lobbyists.

  • But that's just my 2 cents.

  • Here in Norway we been doing this for years: - The 1 øre and 2 øre coins disappeared in '74 - The 5 øre and 25 øre coins were withdrawn in '84 - The 10 øre coin ended being legal tender in '92 - The 50 øre coin was withdrawn May 1st last year. So while I can still recall putting a 5øre coin in my piggy-bank, there is now no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices ha

  • by godel_56 (1287256) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @05:09PM (#42467923)

    Australia got rid of 1 cent and 2 cent coins, and 5 cent coins are looking endangered. Nobody cares.

    Retailers round the final total at the till, not the individual item prices, so unless you're just buying just one item your bill is just as likely to go down as up.(by a whole 2 cents maximum). Electronic transactions are not rounded.

    We also replaced one dollar and two dollar notes with coins, again with no dramas.

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