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GERRY FLAHIVE

The penny is dropped, and it’s the end of life as we know it Add to ...

Why is the penny being phased out?

Fifteen Canadians complained last year that having a lot of pennies was tearing their pants pockets. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and our penny-making machine is broken.

Where can I bring my pennies for redemption?

Six hundred penny-redemption hangars have been erected at strategic locations across Canada. Please seal each unwanted penny in a labelled envelope and take a number. We’ll be right with you.

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My sister is named Penny. I’m worried that she and other women named Penny will suffer a decline in self-esteem now that the penny is being phased out. Have you considered that?

Our studies show that women named Penny will indeed suffer such a decline in self-esteem, but only by 1 per cent.

Will I still be able to get a penny for my thoughts?

No. We’re the Royal Canadian Mint, not the Canada Council.

Will this mean the end of penny-pinchers? We’ve got quite a few in our accounting department, and they’re really annoying.

No, those cheap bastards aren’t going anywhere.

What about American pennies that will continue to circulate in Canada? Does that smug Abraham Lincoln get a free ride, while the earnest Canadian penny is shunted into oblivion?

You’re really overthinking this.

I’ve always been attracted by the pricing of goods and services at, say, $29.99 or $79.99. I found this delusional psychology of something being discounted by one penny to be quite convincing. Won’t the penny’s elimination damage the retail economy?

No. There are going to be so many “rounding up” and “rounding down” arguments at cash registers that you’ll have a lot more time to make impulse purchases of gum and magazines.

I’m a coin collector, and pennies are a big part of my collection. Have you considered the impact on the numismatic community?

You’ll be pleased to know that the Mint will soon be releasing a range of new coin products that we think will have great appeal for coin enthusiasts. Watch for the threenie (a welded amalgam of a loonie and a toonie), the paraloonie (a loonie with a chip out of it, worth 89 cents) and the $28 discus, made out of slices from old curling rocks.

I’m a big fan of the band Nickelback. They’re really popular, and I’m sure they make a lot of money – but I never get a nickel back. Why is that?

You’re in the wrong FAQ section.

My daughter loves her piggy bank, which only takes pennies. What are we supposed to do with this now-obsolete container of dreams?

Fedex your piggy bank to us and we’ll alter it to accept larger denomination coins.

The “leave a penny, take a penny” trays used at many store cash registers are a charming part of Canadian life. What’s going to happen to them?

On investigation, it was determined that these trays were part of a massive money-laundering scheme run by the Mafia. They’ll be replaced with “leave an IOU, take a mint, you could really use a mint” trays.

My grandmother used to say that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” What should I say to my grandchildren?

Wow. You believed that?

Let me get this straight. Say a store owes me $1.02 in change. But they round down the amount, under these new post-penny rules, and give me only $1. Where are those two cents going?

Excellent question.

Gerry Flahive is a documentary producer in Toronto.

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