Half of Canadians Ready to Wave Goodbye to the Penny

More than half of Canadians believe the penny should be abandoned, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Earlier this month, a Senate report recommended taking the penny out of circulation, after pointing out that the one cent coin has lost 95 per cent of its purchasing power since its introduction in 1908, and that it now costs “a penny and half to produce and distribute a penny.”

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,016 Canadian adults, 55 per cent of respondents are in favour of taking the penny out of circulation, while 35 per cent are opposed.

Support for scrapping the penny is highest in British Columbia (62%), Quebec (61%) and Ontario (55%). Men (65%) are more likely than women (45%) to agree with the demise of the one cent coin. Respondents aged 18 to 34 are evenly split (43% support abandoning the penny, 42% are opposed).

In all, 18 per cent of Canadians say they would feel happy if the penny is taken out of circulation, including 28 per cent of British Columbians. Conversely, 14 per cent of respondents would feel sad to see the penny go, including 27 per cent of Atlantic Canadians and 26 per cent of respondents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From December 21 to December 22, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,016 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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