The penny has outlived its usefulness and should be scrapped, says P.E.I. Senator Catherine Callbeck.
Callbeck is on the Senate's national finance committee, which is preparing a report on the value of the penny. On cost of production alone, its value is well into the negative for Canadians, Callbeck told CBC News Monday.
"The raw material in the production of the penny costs more than a penny, so that roughly the direct loss to the taxpayer every year is $25 million," said Callbeck.
Marco Thorn, who owns a hockey merchandise store in Charlottetown, said pennies cost him as well, and he would be glad to see them go.
"In business saving time is money," said Thorn.
"There's always a surplus of pennies at the cash register; somebody has to roll them and that takes time, and I really don't see a need for the pennies."
Saving Canadians money is the main reason to get rid of the penny, said Callbeck, but she does note that there would be some costs to stopping production of 800 million pennies a year.
"The retailer, of course, they'd have that one-time cost to convert their cash registers; and some charities that encourage people to donate by dropping their pennies into bins; and the number of jobs in the mining industry and their bottom line," she said.
Callbeck said the Senate wants to hear from Canadians on the issue.
The committee has until the end of the year to finish the study.