In Canada, the penny hangs on tenaciously

canadian pennies

The Canadian penny is showing it’s not going down without a fight.

Nearly two months after the Royal Canadian Mint stopped distributing the one-cent piece, the coin continues to circulate, causing some confusion north of the border.

That’s because when government officials announced the mint would end the penny’s run after more than 150 years, many people thought the cent would no longer be used.

But that’s not quite the case, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

“Businesses don’t have to turn over the pennies they collect to the bank and they can decide if they want to keep using Canada’s smallest currency, even though it’s not being produced,” the CBC reported.

Pennies still remain legal tender in Canada, it added.

Canada opted to phase out the penny because it cost 1.6 cents to produce each one-cent piece and because it was perceived as a pecuniary pest.

The Royal Canadian Mint stopped producing the coins last May.

The move is expected to save $11 million a year, according to government officials.

One Canadian lawmaker doesn’t want to stop with killing off the penny, however.

Pat Martin, a member of the Canadian House of Commons from Winnipeg, wants to eliminate the nickel, as well.

His “master plan” is to have a coin currency in multiples of 10s – 10, 20 and 50-cent coins, and $1, $2 and $5 coins, according to the National Post.

Officials in the US have also talked about doing away with both the penny and nickel, but have gotten a lukewarm response from the public.

Other nations that have either ceased to produce or have removed low-denomination coins include Australia, Brazil, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Great Britain.

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