The New York Times reports, "In Canada, the Lowly Penny's Time to Shine Nears an End". Surprisingly, the penny costs more than a penny to make, prompting the abandonment.
"The government estimated that every penny costs it about 1.6 cents to produce. Eliminating the penny's production will reduce the government's costs by about 11 million Canadian dollars a year."
The Royal Canadian Mint will stop producing the littlest coin this fall, but Canadians will be allowed to use the penny indefinitely. The penny will die out on it's own as production of new coins ends. To compensate for the missing currency, cash transactions will be rounded to the nearest nickel (.05).
This is a change that the country has been trying to make for quite some time. However, it is not the first. Britain (halfpenny withdrawn in 1984), Australia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and Norway all dropped their lowest currency coin. The change does come before the USA which has also been trying to make the change - unsuccessfully. Penny fans worry that inflation would rise if the coin were dropped. The group, Americans for Common Cents, found that 66% of Americans want to keep the penny in circulation.
For Canada, the move has been supported across party lines. Pat Martin (New Democratic Party) has said "Nobody likes them". And it is hard to disagree with a measure that will reduce the government's spending by 5.2 billion Canadian dollars over three years. So hold on to your pennies. They may be an antique someday soon.
If you want to do a good deed, donate your pennies.