Canada stops distribution of penny coin

Canadian flag file picture A handful of other have pulled penny coins out of circulation

The Canadian penny is being withdrawn from circulation because production costs have exceeded its monetary value.

The Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute the coin to financial institutions around the country, but it will remain legal tender.

The government has advised shop owners to round out prices to the nearest nickel (5p) for cash transactions.

Other countries that no longer use the penny include New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden.

Despite the change on Monday, electronic transactions can still be billed to the nearest cent.

The government has estimated that the coins, which bear the image of Queen Elizabeth II and two maple leaves, cost about C$11m (£7m) each year to make.

The end of the penny has prompted charities around Canada to start penny drives, and some initiatives have been very successful.

Toronto-based Free The Children has already collected 70m pennies, CBC News reports.

That could provide a lifetime of clean drinking water to 28,000 people in developing countries, according to the NGO.

But other organisations, such as Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, say they are worried the disappearance of the penny will make it harder to fundraise.

The US Treasury has said the Obama administration has thought about making its one cent coins from a cheaper material - they are currently made of zinc.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit


  • Payton McKinnonKilling heat

    Why so many American children die in hot cars


  • Vice-President Joe Biden.Joe v Hillary

    What needs to happen for Biden to be the next president


  • USA fanSoccer punch

    Has the US finally fallen in love with the beautiful game? BBC Sport


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city

Programmes

  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.