Via Sullivan, the Royal Canadian Mint has stopped producing pennies and will withdraw them from circulation this year, saving $11m outright and eliminating a $150m drag on the Canadian economy:
It costs the government 1.6 cents to produce one penny, which has been made of copper-plated zinc and copper-plated steel since 1997.
The penny, with two maple leafs on one side and Queen Elizabeth II on the other, can continue to be used in payments. As they are gradually withdrawn from circulation, price rounding on cash transactions will be required, the government said.
The calculation of the federal goods and services tax and provincial sales taxes will continue to be calculated to the penny and added to the price, with rounding only taking place on the total payment.
Non-cash payments on checks and credit cards will continue to be rounded to the nearest cent.
Here's hoping we can eliminate ours as well, as they cost the U.S. 2.6¢ each. Of course, the Canadian program I really want to see would save our economy tens of billions of dollars a year...but apparently we're ready yet.