Desjardins recommends 10, 20-cent coins

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

With recent reports naming the penny as an economic liability, questions concerning Canada’s currency system have become a hot topic.

A report by the Desjardins Group uncovered some frightening details about how Canada’s current currency system is organized.

According to Jean-Pier Aubry, economist, consultant and author of the study, the penny is costing the economy more money than it’s worth.

“Instead of putting [pennies] back into circulation, people don’t use them, which is why we are producing far more pennies than we need,” Aubry said.

With the numerous issues surrounding the penny, the necessity of some of Canada’s other coinage has been called into question.

“In the report we give the example of New Zealand, who’s new 10 and 20 cent coins have worked out well for them,” Aubry said. “It’s just an option to reduce the weight in our pockets.”

Since the elimination of the $2 bill, many people have considered the evolution of a $5 bill into a coin.

“The $5 coin has come up time and time again,” Monica Lamoureux, a senior analyst at the Bank of Canada, said. “However there are no decisions to switch yet.”

With Canada’s constantly growing economy, many officials feel its time to consider the introduction of a $200 bill.

“There is no desire for the $200 note yet because the current structure is meeting Canadians’ needs,” Lamoureux said. “But the report expects that in 10 or 20 years from now it might be necessary.”

Aubry, however, was not as confident in Canada’s ability to accept a $200 bill.

“We shouldn’t release a $200 bill yet because there is still a lot of people afraid of counterfeit,” he said. “We shouldn’t even consider it until people are confident with the $50 and $100 bills.”

Though Aubry believes the system of currency could use some revision, a Ministry of Finance official who wished to remain anonymous confirmed many of these changes are not likely to be addressed.

“The government has no plan to introduce a $5 coin, and no decision has been made about the future of the penny.”

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