Discontinuing the Penny

To the Hon. Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre

Dear Mr. Martin,

In regard to your private member's bill to discontinue the penny, thank you. This measure is about 5 or 10 years late and should have been entered into
consideration around the time the $2 coin, what I call the doubloon, was introduced. The cost of all that copper to Canada should give it all the impetus it requires. That force is only strengthened by the moral dubiousness of hoarding copper this way when there is not enough of it in the world for everyone in the world to enjoy our lifestyle. What should it matter that the bill comes from an opposition bench? Wisdom should be commended regardless of the source.

Retaining the $0.01-precision for wire transactions and rounding up or down to the nearest multiple of 5 cents on cash ones is at least a partial return to the common sense that BC exhibited before confederation. Back in the day, political rhetoric here said that BCers were not so niggling as to figure things out to the nearest 100th of a dollar and pennies were routinely discarded in the Rockies by BCers on their way home from the money-grubbing east. That such an attitude has taken this long to even begin to resurface is a sad commentary on the rarity of common sense.

I wish your bill safe and swift passage.


Arthur N. Klassen etc. etc.

cc: Hon. xxxxx xxxxxx, MP for my home riding


David Grant said...

I hope that passes. They've tried in the US twice and it failed both times. Although if we're going to get rid of the penny we might as well get rid of the nickel at the same time (except maybe that woduld make it harder to pass). Speaking of rarity of common sense, reading some of the comments on that CBC article was painful.

Some links for interested readers:

Canada should have gotten rid of penny in 2005, according to "D-Metric"

In 1870, 1 dollar was worth $26.70 in today's dollars. The half-penny was no longer being minted at that time so that means the lowest denomination, the penny, was worth 27 cents in today's dollars. That is equivalent to us getting rid of the penny, nickel, and dime in 2008. Either they had a need for smaller denominations or we don't need them. I wonder if there is anything written in the newspapers of 1870, regarding the lack of a half-penny, for instance?

Arthur said...

Thanks David...

Comments on the CBC article are likely to induce migraines, yes. I hadn't read them on this topic but past experience...

In regard to discontinuing the nickel, HongKong has had wire transactions to the HK$0.01 in parallel with cash transactions to the nearest HK$0.10 for over twenty years now. It's not hard to do at all. And in one way, you're right. We should just get a clue and drop them both while we're at it.

Still, it is the correct action of governments to move slowly (to dampen the fads adhered to by mobs), so I am content with losing the penny today and the nickel in another five years or so.

The D-Metric link looks interesting. Thanks for that, too.