http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/03/31/penny.htmlMP to introduce bill to eliminate the penny
Last Updated: Monday, March 31, 2008 | 9:40 AM ET Comments70Recommend94CBC News
A Winnipeg MP who thinks the penny is a nuisance and too expensive to ship around the country is expected to introduce a private member's bill on Monday to take it out of circulation.
New Democrat Pat Martin says while the Royal Canadian Mint contends it costs only 0.7 cents to make a penny, Library of Parliament research suggests the real cost is as much as four cents per penny.
The biggest expense comes from getting the one-cent coins from the mint to banks, he says. After that, many end up in jars or under couch cushions, because people don't want to carry them around.
Martin's legislation would require retailers on cash transactions to round final totals up or down to the nearest five- or 10-cent mark. Debit and credit card transactions would not be rounded.
The legislation wouldn't prevent a store from setting whatever price it wants for a product, Martin says.
The most recent public opinion study by the Mint, released last fall, suggests 63 per cent of small retailers and 42 per cent of consumers favour getting rid of the penny.
Nineteen per cent of small retailers and 33 per cent of consumers are against it, while the remainder are indifferent.
One third of consumers who were against the idea were worried about higher prices from retailers opting to round up prices to the nearest five-cent mark.
New Zealand and Australia have both abolished the penny.
Martin says studies of these countries showed getting rid of pennies didn't cost consumers or retailers anything extra.