It was Pat Martin’s idea


The signature promise of Jim Flaherty’s latest budget was proposed four years ago by the NDP’s Pat Martin.

“There is no business case for continuing to produce the penny. Making cents in fact makes no sense at all,” Martin said.


It was Pat Martin’s idea

  1. Belies the Con argument that Socialists are fiscally profligate.

    • Actually, it doesn’t. While I agree with the move to eliminate the penny, it will undoubtedly cost jobs at the Winnipeg mint, some of which are probably employees that live in Martin’s riding.

      • Actually, it doesn’t.

        Yes it does!
        No, it doesn’t
        Yes it does!,
        No it doesn’t

        God, I’m tired of this obtusely contrarian conversation already.

        • Tired enough to post on it again, I see.

  2. John Palmer will want to have a word with Pat Martin about who’s idea it was first. 

    EclectEcon ~ May 2010:

    I first started thinking and writing about the role of the one-cent coin in our economy over twenty years ago. I was prompted to give it somewhat serious consideration one day when, in a longish check-out line, a number of us were held up as several people ahead of us each said something like, “Wait a minute…. I think I have the three cents here.” or “Just a minute…. I have the pennies in here with these coins….” I looked at the people in the line and wondered how much time was being wasted while people waited in line as customers and clerks counted out pennies.

    At the same time, I realized that even then, in 1990, a one-cent coin wouldn’t buy anything. When I was a child, I was able to buy two root-beer barrels, a pack of soft candies, a baseball card with gum, etc. for a penny. By 1990, as a result of inflation, things like these had prices much higher. It occurred to me then that the one-cent coin had out-lived its usefulness.

    • I too miss the penny Boodle Bags from my corner Mom and Pop variety store where I went as a toddler, when I recall times were better, when the bullies wore pickle stabbers and slicked back Elvis cuts.

      • My grandmother taught me how to count, and about money, by taking me to candy story and letting me buy 10 or 15 penny sweets but I am only 40 yrs old so penny hasn’t had much value since I can remember. 

        • Now our kids will have to learn to count by fives… 

          • Actually, they probably won’t. There will be an app for that instead.

          • Yeah, five-dollar bills…..

          • I highly doubt your kids will ever see money in cash form. Digital transactions are not slowly taking over.

          • My kids are 17 and 20.

          • @dougsamu:disqus 

            OK… so how often does the 20 year old use cash? I’d bet he pays for more things with PayPal than he does with dollar bills.

          • well seeing as Canada doesn’t have dollar bills in circulation, you’re probably right…

  3. The CBC ran an editorial piece this morning by Peter Gzowski , Morningside, 1985, advocating getting rid of the penny.

    • And we all know the Cons don’t listen to the CBC. :-)

    • I loved starting my morning with Gzowski, he was awesome. 

  4. Eliminating the penny was part of the winning proposal in the first Fraser Institute Economy in Government Competition (which I administered), conducted in 1991 with the winners announced in March 1992.

    • What does that tell you then about the effectiveness of the Fraser Institute? Over 20 yrs @2% inflation, your 1992 penny is now worth about 1.5  2012 pennies.

    • I was going to say that I’ve seen this idea bandied around since at least the mid-90’s.  Looks like I was off by a few years. :)  I didn’t think it originated with Pat Martin (and I’m fairly certain Aaron doesn’t think that, either, although I could be wrong).

      •  I’ve been hearing about eliminating the penny since I was a kid, and I’m now 65.

        • Wow – you’ve been a child even longer than me!


    • Honest question .. is the FI registered as a charity ? and does it receive
      contributions from foreign sources ?

      • According to their CRA return (I’d link, but I don’t know how to shorten the absurdly long url) they do receive donations from foreign sources, $1,719,171

  5. Strange that it was Martin advocating this for the NDP… this will cost jobs in Winnipeg at the Mint.

    I also wish this were part of a broader plan to eliminate the use of cash all together. It’s archaic form of currency.

  6. I guess gasoline prices will go up by five cents a litre increment starting this fall – and from what I hear starting from at least $1.50 a litre.  What does one do to conter inflation again?

    • Not necessarily. The tally at the end of a fillup, if you carry rolls of cash and coin, will be evened out. I don’t see any reason for each litre to be rounded to the nearest nickel.

  7. I know it’s merely been suspected before, but the CPC government will leave us penniless.