The City of St. John's will have to replace all of its 1,250 parking meters because the latest loonies and toonies don't work in them, says Coun. Gerry Colbert, chair of the city's police and traffic committee.
He said the latest $1 and $2 coins have a different profile than the old ones, and don’t go down the parking meter mechanism properly.
Although the manufacturer proposed a possible fix for the problem, the suggestion didn't work.
Colbert said replacing the parking meter heads will likely cost more than $300,000.
"You have municipalities across the country facing the same, very expensive problem," said Colbert. "I just think the Canadian Mint ignored us or dropped the ball on us completely."
He expressed frustration over money lost by people who unknowingly fed the 2012 coins into meters.
"It’s an absolute waste," said Colbert. "You’re taking money and you’re shoving it down the proverbial meter tube. It’s gone. You might just as well throw it in the harbour."
He said the city has now placed stickers on the meters to warn people.
Colbert said parking meters generate close to $2 million in revenues for the city each year. Repairing the meters will take money away from other programs like parks and recreation and seniors’ outreach, he said.
"It just amazes me," said Colbert. "At the end of the day, it’s you and me that end up paying for the Canadian Mint."