The pockets of Canadians will be a little lighter this week.
South Vancouver businesses and students are glad to see the penny discontinued
South Vancouver consumers and business owners alike agree that counting pennies is more hassle than it’s worth.
“It’s good, one less thing to count,” said Aroma Café owner Jeff Smith. “I round everything anyway.”
Most Langara students said that they find the coins pointless.
“I don’t like having pennies in my pocket,” said Colin King, an arts student. “I don’t use them, and I don’t think many people do. They just get tossed around.”
Annah Mackay, a general studies student at Langara, said she would like to see the copper in pennies used more productively. “Pennies are pretty useless,” she said.
Although Langara students seem to be happy with the decision to phase out pennies, a country-wide “Save the Canadian Penny” Facebook page has been started.
Canadian charities are organizing penny drives
Canadian charities are mostly happy about the government’s decision.
“I think it will have a positive effect as people can still donate them to the charities,” said Melissa Grandolini, a Variety Club employee. “So if they want to get rid of them, it’s an easy way and it helps us.”
Many charities have been organizing penny drives to help round up pennies.
Reasons the penny was discontinued
It costs the Mint 1.6 cents to make a one-cent coin. The government said the rising cost of producing a penny relative to its face value was one of the main reasons for phasing it out.
Other reasons that led to the coin’s discontinuation were concerns about the environment as well as the increasing number of pennies accumulating in Canadian households.
The history of the Canadian penny began when the first coins were made in England in 1858. Canada began producing its own pennies in 1908, but the coin’s value has since dropped because of inflation.
New guidelines for pennies
Those worried about goods and services costing slightly more need not worry. The government has adopted guidelines that will round cash transactions to the nearest five cents. Cheques and electronic payments will be not be rounded.
Pennies can still be used indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them.
Reported by Warren Jané
Podcast: Langara students’ reactions as pennies are phased out: