Canadian Penny Becomes History

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 6, 2013 10:47 PM EST

The federal government of Canada Monday ended the circulation of 155 years old legacy of the Canadian penny.

The Canadian media has reported that each penny costs 1.6 cents to produce and the federal government is expected to save $ 11 million annually after getting rid of the coins.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last year announced that coins were a nuisance and had outlived their purpose. The Royal Canadian Mint officially stopped its distribution of pennies to financial institutes Monday.

While stopping to issue the penny to all the financial institutes, the federal government asked all the store owners in the country to round up or down the value of the penny to its nearest nickel (value of the coin) for cash transaction.

Noting that penny is nuisance, opposition New Democratic Member of Parliament Pat Martin Monday said that there was nothing a penny can buy other than costing too much to make.

"There's nothing a penny will buy any more, not a gum ball or small piece of candy," the Associated Press quoted Martin as saying.

"Note the penny is a nuisance. It costs too much to make. They clutter our change purse and they don't circulate. They build up in piles in old cookie jars under our beds and in our desk drawers. You can't give them away. They cost more than what they're worth. It's time to put them all out to pasture, put them out to the curb. No, the penny is useless, but there is one thing I'd say, I hope they don't start treating old MPs this way."

Historically, the first penny dates back to Jan. 2, 1908. Following government's decision to end the penny, the Currency Museum at Canada's central bank has already started preserving the penny as a Canadian legacy.

"A mural consisting of nearly 16,000 one-cent pieces has been assembled at the museum to commemorate the coin's history," the Associated Press quoted an official at the museum as saying.

Some of the countries that have dropped the penny in recent years are New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

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