Winnipeg, May 4, 2012
2012-055

Archived - Minister of Finance Strikes the Last Penny to Enter Circulation in Canada

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, today struck the last penny produced at the Royal Canadian Mint’s high-speed manufacturing facility in Winnipeg.

“For over a hundred years, the penny played an important role in Canada’s coinage system,” said Minister Flaherty. “Although the cost of producing the penny now outweighs its value to Canadian consumers and businesses, it has had a long history that is worthy of recognition.”

The last penny struck for Canadian circulation will be entrusted to the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, as a permanent reminder of its contributions to Canada’s economy and history.

“I encourage all Canadians to take advantage of this unique opportunity to put their remaining pennies to good use by collecting and donating them to their favourite charities,” said Minister Flaherty.

“People can make a real difference by donating to charities,” said Marcel Lauzière, President and CEO of Imagine Canada. “Individual pennies might seem insignificant, but with literally billions of them out there, we have a unique opportunity to make significant investments in our communities and in each other.”

In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Harper Government announced that it will modernize Canada’s currency set by eliminating the penny from Canada’s coinage system. While the coins will remain legal tender, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies as of fall 2012. Canadians can continue to use the penny indefinitely.

“Eliminating the penny is an important part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Parliamentary Secretary Glover. “The estimated savings from eliminating the penny is about $11 million a year, which will help to reduce the deficit and return Canada to balanced budgets in the medium term.”

For consumer and business information on the elimination of the penny and for guidelines on price rounding, please visit the Mint’s website.

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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