Even numismatists (coin collectors) said they would be OK with taking the penny out of circulation so long as it remained legal tender like the 50 cent piece and other non circulatory coins so it would still have value to collectors.
"I think he's missing the boat on this one. He's studying the wrong end of the currency spectrum. He's tinkering with $100 bills, when he should be picking the low hanging fruit and getting rid of the penny," Martin said Monday. "There's money to be saved and efficiencies to be gained, and it's staring him right in the face and sitting right under his nose."
But Flaherty has been afraid to pull the trigger on killing the one cent coin, even Nike Kyrie Red Velvet
and two cent coins in 1989 and scrapped its nickel in 2006.
His spokesmen, though, maintain Flaherty is still "reviewing" the Senate recommendations and won't say when the minister might finish his review.
"The government reviews the coinage system periodically to ensure that the needs of Canadians are being met," Mary Ann Dewey Plante, a spokesman for Flaherty, said Monday. "We're still continuing to review the Senate report."
Martin, a longtime critic of the penny, still holds out hope the one cent coin is on death's door.
foolish when it comes to the penny
Late last year, an Angus Reid poll found 55% of Canadians favoured scrapping the lowly penny 18% of whom said they'd even be "happy" to see it gone.
"This thing seems to have nine lives, but I still believe that reason and logic will prevail in the end, and that we'll be able to rid ourselves of this expensive nuisance," he said. "We're all supposed to be tightening our belts and pulling out all the stops to slay the deficit. This is one of the lowest hanging fruit.
"This one is a no brainer. Eliminate the penny and people will even thank you for it, and we'll put that $10 million to much better use."
But he's been reviewing the report, which calls for the penny to be scrapped by year's end, for seven months now and NDP MP Pat Martin wonders why the Flaherty can't see the light.
"I think it's inevitable that eventually the smaller coin the penny would be eliminated," he said last year. "What we are seeing is hoarding of pennies, so the mint has to keep producing pennies at a cost of more than a penny.
Australia dropped its one and two cent coins from circulation in 1992, and is currently considering dropping its nickel.
Sweden scrapped its two lowest denomination coins in the early 1970s, and New Zealand cut out its one Nike Lebron 11 South Beach
more every year.
And experts agree no one should worry about prices jumping up if the penny were scrapped because rounding up or down to the nearest nickel would only apply at the final sale, which could include many items, and also would only apply to cash purchases. The experience elsewhere is that prices don't change at all.
According to the mint's annual report released Monday, it made $2.2 billion in revenue in 2010 (up from $2 billion in 2009), and put $238.7 million (up from Nike Lebron James 11 209.9 million in 2009) into government coffers. It produced 792 million coins in 2009, of which 61% (485.6 million) were pennies.
And the Senate finance committee, which Flaherty tasked last year to study the fate of the one cent coin, recommended in December the coin be scrapped because it's virtually worthless, costs more than it's worth to produce and wouldn't be missed by retailers or Canadians.
What's worse, it costs 1.5 cents to put a penny into circulation.
Credit card and debit transactions would not be rounded out and would continue to use one cent increments because pennies don't physically exist now in credit or debit transactions anyway.
There are currently 30 billion Canadian pennies in circulation, but people hoard them 600 each on average and throw them in fountains, and they hide in between sofa cushions, so the mint has to make about 500 million Nike Zoom Kobe Vii
"At some point, this will have to end."
though last year he conceded it can't survive forever.
According to the Bank of Canada, the penny has lost 95% of its purchasing power since it was introduced in 1908.
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