A Penny Lost Is A Penny Found?

By sallysteeves
January 10th, 2011

In my heart pennies are tradition, a kind of symbolism of Canada.  The maple leaf on the front waves at you as strong picture of our great country.  But the use of them has become so slack that it seems pointless to keep them.  Tradition or not something that is wasteful to both our economy and the environment.  It isn’t as though the idea of being rid of the cooper coin is new, in Australia and New Zealand there has been no penny for years and recently it was decided to send the nickel on the same route.  It is doubtful that Canada will be as extreme as to eradicate the nickel as well the penny but thoughts are switching in favour of ridding us of the penny.

Currently, there are about 22 billion pennies in circulation in Canada alone.  Considering that our population relatively low the number within the U.S.A. would be quite higher. A study done in 2005 showed that it could save Canada about 131 million dollars per year.  Quite large seeing as most people only find the penny a nuisance that sits in their wallet, over six hundred per person that are doing nothing.  Those six hundred only amount to six dollars.  The economical waste in producing, transporting and storing these pennies could be used for many other things in Canada, education being one that hits very close to home for most Rosslanders.  Wouldn’t this money be much better spent on education or health care?  These are things that people will actually use and don’t just have more than six hundred of them lying around.

Apart from this economical waste the environmental factors are quite large.  The energy loss in making the pennies is quite large but also in transporting them to areas around the country.  Think of holding 100 pennies in your right hand and a loonie in your left.  Which seems more expensive to produce?  After that, you have to factor in the amount of trucks it would take to ship the same amount of money.  The difference is unbelievable for something that most people find will just get in the way.  For something it is considered a nuisance to most people the energy put into the use of pennies is unnatural.

The use of the phrase save up your pennies may cease to have meaning for most people but we’ve been following it long enough that we have saved up.  People will debate that this is only a scheme the government is putting in place to make us pay more but things will not always round upwards.  This would be a tool to help our country save money but that money could then be easily put into areas that people care about.  The debate of ridding Canada of pennies has been going on for awhile, but will 2011 be the year that Canada leaves the penny behind? What’s your opinion?


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