Today is the last day of the Canadian penny, as the coin is withdrawn from circulation. Google is honoring the coin with a doodle on its Canadian home page. In the doodle, the first of the Os in the word “Google” is replaced with a Canadian penny, and it spins around every few seconds to show you what it looks (looked) like on both sides.
Last March, the Canadian government announced that it would withdraw the penny from circulation, and now the time has come. Canada’s CBC Radio has a piece asking if Canadians will miss the coin. Andrew Nichols writes:
There was a time when a penny was not something people would cast aside or ignore. You could buy a loaf of bread with it …and back around the time it was first minted in Canada in 1876 it was not uncommon that a-day’s-work for an unskilled labourer would bring in just one-hundred pennies.
Nowadays a loaf of bread can easily cost two-hundred pennies and more. Over the last few years several studies have recommended pulling the Canadian penny …something other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Finland to name just a few have already done. And since it cost the Canadian Mint 1.6 cents to make one cent …that’s $11-million dollars per year …many knew the penny’s days were numbered.
CTV News reports that in the right hands, the penny still holds value. Some are trying to preserve the coins through jewelry and accessories. On top of that, there will always be coin collectors who will no doubt gladly keep at least a few on hand.
Canadian retailers are reportedly not obligated to discontinue using the penny, so there should still be plenty of pennies used in transactions for the time being.