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Venture: Pity the penny

When Venture first launched in 1985, one stated goal was to be a TV version of the Wall Street Journal's front page: lively, lucid and wide-ranging. It's about business, but it's not just for businessmen and businesswomen. Venture covered all the aspects of the economy in Canada and beyond: prices, profits, personnel, innovation and ideas as they affect any business. From farms to fishing boats, boardrooms to barbershops, Venture was about the business of making a living.

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What's a penny good for? Not much, as Venture finds out. It seems many Canadians couldn't be bothered to pick a penny off the sidewalk. Sure it's money, but the purchasing power of a penny is pretty paltry. Find out what our smallest denomination can still get you.
• The banking group Desjardins estimated that there were 20 billion Canadian pennies in circulation as of 2007, or about 600 pennies for every Canadian. They also found only 37 per cent of Canadians actually use pennies, which means most of them are sitting in our piggy banks.

• A 2007 Royal Canadian Mint survey found 63 per cent of retailers support abolishing the penny, and 42 per cent of consumers agreed with them.

• The government announced during the reading of the budget on March 29, 2012 that the penny would be phased out of circulation during the next year.  On May 4, 2012, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty attended a special ceremony in Winnipeg, marking the striking of the last penny, which will reside in the Canadian Currency Museum in Ottawa.  Feb. 4, 2013, The Canadian Mint ceased distribution of the penny, and businesses were instructed to begin "rounding up" or "rounding down" the amount of cash transactions.
Medium: Television
Program: Venture
Broadcast Date: June 17, 1985
Guest(s): Edith Cody-Rice
Host: Patrick Watson
Duration: 3:07

Last updated: July 3, 2014

Page consulted on July 3, 2014

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