Bye, bye penny

The Royal Canadian Mint will stop producing pennies this fall, announced Finance Minister Jim Flaherty during his budget speech on Thursday.

During a news conference, Flaherty referred to the penny as a "currency without any currrency" and the government was acting on ". . . what everyone agrees should have been done long ago."

"Pennies take up too much space on our dressers at home," said Flaherty during his budget speech.

"They take up far too much time for small businesses trying to grow and create jobs. It costs taxpayers a penny-and-a-half every time we make one. We will, therefore, stop making them."

Debit and credit cards will still use penny increments for payment. Cash payments, however, will be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel.

The government says the cost of the producing the penny had risen to $11 million a year.

And what to do with all those pennies lying around? The government suggested giving them to charity.

Pennies are mostly made of zinc and plated with copper.