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Winnipeg, Manitoba – May 4, 2012 – Today at the Royal Canadian Mint's high-speed manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty struck the last penny to be produced for Canadian circulation.
"The Mint has proudly produced the penny to satisfy the needs of Canada's trade and commerce for over one hundred years," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "Although today marks the end of an era for this denomination, the Mint has a solid international reputation on which to build a future without the penny."
"For the past several years, Canadian taxpayers have been burdened by the rising cost of producing pennies," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint. "While the penny can still be used in day-to-day transactions, our Government is encouraging Canadians to donate their pennies to charities in order to make a difference in their communities".
The last penny struck for Canadian circulation will be entrusted to the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, as a permanent reminder of its contributions to Canada's economy and history.
In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada announced that it will modernize Canada's currency set by eliminating the penny from Canada's coinage system. While the coins will remain legal tender, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies as of fall 2012.
Due to rising labour, metal and other manufacturing and distribution costs, each penny cost more than 1.6 cents to produce. As a result of the Mint's patented, cost-effective multi-ply plated steel technology, all other Canadian circulation coins cost well under face value to produce.
For consumer and business information on the elimination of the penny and for guidelines on price rounding, please visit the Mint's website at www.mint.ca.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. Visit www.mint.ca for further information on the Mint's history, products and services.
Current images and b-roll footage of the penny are available for media at ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.
For more information, media are invited to please contact:
Senior Manager, Communications
Tel: (613) 949-5777
Cell: (613) 884-6370