Money: One cent coin to be pulled from circulation Feb. 4
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 01:03 pm
No more pennies for your thoughts.
The federal government will start removing the penny from circulation on Feb. 4 marking an end to Canada’s lowest denomination of currency.
Okotoks resident Chris Moreas won’t miss them.
“I work in retail, it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.
He said he often comes home weighed down in coins so he’s looking forward to lightening the load.
The government moved to eliminate the penny in its 2012 budget because it costs 1.6 cents to make a single penny. The move is estimated to save the federal government $11 million a year.
The Royal Canadian Mint made the last penny in the fall.
After Feb. 4, cash payments will be rounded to the nearest five-cent increment, while payments with cheques, debit or credit cards will not be rounded.
People will still be able to use the coins for cash transactions at businesses choosing to accept them.
People can cash in pennies at financial institutions and they will be returned to the federal government to be melted down.
Okotoks resident Peter Hansen said more people are turning to cashless transactions and eliminating the penny is a sign of the times.
“I think it’s time,” he said.
Hansen has a lot of pennies he’ll have to cash in at a bank.
“Like most people I have a big jar of them sitting at home,” he said.
If he does get any more pennies, Hansen said he will probably save them.
He doesn’t think the government should make any other changes to coinage for the time being such as replacing the $5 bill with a coin.
Millarville resident Paul Rigon also said it’s a good idea to get rid of the penny.
“I think it’s pointless at this point,” he said.
Rigon said he probably won’t cash in all the pennies he has at home because they’re not worth the time to roll them up and take them to a bank. He joked they’ll probably sit in his basement until he someday gives them to his children.
“I don’t know what I’ll do with all them,” he said.
Rigon said the government could take a look at changing other coins, adding a $5 coin is a good idea.
Businesses now have less than a month to prepare for the penny’s demise.
Reinier Lanting, owner of Your Dollar Store With More, said he will continue to accept pennies at the business as long as customers want to use them.
Lanting said he won’t adjust his prices so they all add up to a five-cent increments, instead his staff will have to round off when handing out change.
“If you work with discounted prices like us, it’s important to keep the same price,” he said.
However, Lanting said some people may feel they are losing out at the cash register as a result.
He said it’s a common sense move, but he said the government hasn’t done enough to inform businesses about the transition.
At present, any pennies and other coins left behind at the store are donated to World Vision and Lanting will continue to do so after the penny is discontinued.
Ultimately, he said he believes it’s another step towards becoming a cashless society. Lanting said the number of debit and credit card transactions at the store has doubled in the past two years.