The Canadian penny will live to see 2013. The Royal Canadian Mint will stop circulating the one-cent coin as of next Feb., but the Finance Department says the coin will “retain its value indefinitely.”
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made the official announcement on Monday, postponing the original end date of later this year. The change was made after government consultation with small-business owners and retailers, to accomodate the busy holiday shopping period.
“Setting a clear transition date will allow consumers, businesses, charities and financial institutions to pan accordingly to the lead-up to February,” said Flaherty to CTV News.
In May, the final penny came off the production line at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg. With this cessation, the federal government expects to save $11-million a year.
The penny was originally scrapped with the unveiling of the new federal budget in March. Over the years, the copper-plated coin has continued to lose money for the government, as each penny has a production cost of 1.5 cents. As a result, cash transactions will soon be rounded to the nearest five-cent increment. All electronic and cheque payments, including debit and credit card purchases, will be unaffected by the loss of the penny.
The penny will officially be out of circulation on Feb. 4, 2013.