The Royal Canadian Mint's manufacturing facility in Winnipeg Friday produced Canada's last penny, marking the end of the era of one cent coins.
For over a hundred years, the penny played an important role in Canada's coinage system, said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who pushed a few buttons on the machine that made the last penny.
Although the cost of producing the penny now outweighs its value to Canadian consumers and businesses, it has had a long history that is worthy of recognition, he said, according to rawstory.com.
He joked that the penny was losing its value even when he was a child. I can remember ... my mother catching me throwing a penny in the garbage because I couldn't buy anything with it, Flaherty said. We used to have corporal punishment in the old days, you know, cp24.com quoted him as saying.
The last penny would be handed over to the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, he said.
It was in March this year that Flaherty, the longest-serving finance minister in the Group of Seven nations, promised to save C$11 million annually by stopping the production of the coin. According to him, the cost of production of the coin exceeds its value. The cost of production of as one cent coin is apparently 1.6 cents. This due to the fact that the price of copper, the metal with which the coin is made, has increased more than 330 percent since 2000.
According to Bloomberg.com, the coin will still be usable in payments. Also, while electronic transactions will still be priced in cents, retailers will round cash transactions to the nearest five-cent interval, according to the budget documents, said the report.
Mint's plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, produced 7,000 tons of pennies annually over the past five years.