Farewell to the penny

The penny ceased to be a circulating coin in Canada on Feb. 4, 2013.

While I can understand the logic for relegating the one-cent coin to the dustbin of history, I cannot agree with the move.

Yes, the coin cost more to produce that it is worth. And yes, its buying power has dropped dramatically since, well, ever. I admit that you can’t buy anything with a single penny, and you haven’t been able to outside of really small mom and pop shops in small communities like Ingoldsby, ON. Or at least that sounds like such a place where you could still use a penny.


No. I think it’s a colossal mistake to take the penny out of circulation.

For someone like me, who is a complete and utter cynic, I can see this move by the federal Tories increasing the inflation rate.

Retailers are being kindly asked to adhere to “guidelines” about rounding purchases made with cash. The idea is that if the price is, for example, $1.01 or $1.02, it’s rounded to $1.00. For $1.03 and $1.04 it goes to $1.05.

And on the other side, $1.06 and $1.07 go to $1.05 and $1.08 and $1.09 go up to $1.10.

You can’t tell me that retailers aren’t simply going to round up regardless of what they are being “recommended” to do.

You’re going to start seeing what should have been $1.01 become $1.05, just because they can.

If it should have been $1.07, it will become $1.10.

So from a purely monetary point of view, this move by the Tories is going to be a disaster.

Then there’s the historical side of the equation.

Where do this illegitimate government (majority of seats with a minority of votes) get off thinking it can do something like this?

I contend a move of this magnitude should have been subject to approval from all the provinces, in other words, just like a constitutional amendment. Making a change to our monetary system should have required approval from at least half the provinces AND that those provinces represent at least half the nation’s population.

I, for one, am taking a stand here. I shall use pennies in as many transactions as possible.

Perhaps I shall go out and make it a point to pay for a small purchase with rolls of pennies.

The only problem with that plan is that I’ll be using up my pennies and ensure I run out sooner.

I need to think this through a bit more.

Do I even have many pennies in my change jar?