Lighter, News, Politics

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Spurned

Canadian penny; Image: Royal Canadian MintThe Canadian penny will soon be a thing of the past—like the Canadian one-dollar and two-dollar bills. The loonie and the toonie replaced those bills in 1987.

In its last budget, the government said the Royal Canadian Mint will stop making pennies starting this Fall, and that stores will stop using them.

Everyone is asked to return their pennies to a bank; they will be melted down and recycled.

Pennies will always be worth one cent. However, there will be fewer and fewer of them out there as the years go on.

Any prices that don’t end in a zero or a five (in other words, purchase we can use nickles, dimes or quarters for) will be rounded up or down to the nearest zero or five.

So if your bill for something you’re buying comes to $12.99 you’ll be charged $13.00. If it comes to $22.76 you’ll be charged $22.75.

Rounding won’t be done on individual items in a store—only on the total bill.

If you’re buying something using a credit card or debit card—in other words, paying electronically rather than with cash—the price will remain settled to the penny and won’t be rounded.

The Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Image: Skeezix1000

Why is the government eliminating pennies?
Pennies cost too much for the government to make. Every penny—worth one cent—costs 1.6 cents to make. Last year, 1,100,000,000 pennies were minted. (In the case of coins, “minted” means made or manufactured.) By not making them any more, the government will save more than $11-million a year.

Other coins cost less to make than their face value.

The penny has been in use in Canada since the 1800s. They are produced in Winnipeg and they’re made from steel (94 per cent) with copper plating (4.5 per cent) and a bit of nickel (1.5 per cent). When pennies were first made they were more than 95 per cent copper.

Interesting fact: the letters KG appear below the maple leaf on the penny. They are the initials of the English designer who created the design on the penny in 1937: George Edward Kruger Gray. He also helped design the Canadian nickel.

The facts in this article were excerpted from an excellent article on the CBCNews website. Read the article in its entirety and view a 1:48-minute news video about the penny here: CBC News article about the penny.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Lots of people have jars of pennies at home that they may have saved or just collected over time. Charities often rely on people donating pennies to support their causes. Since we’ll no longer be able to donate pennies, how do you think charities will be affected? What are some other strategies charities can use to raise money or collect donations?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
How will the discontinuation of the penny affect you, your family, your school and your community?

Do you mind that it is being discontinued? Why or why not?

Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Pun
Today’s headline is a pun. A pun is word play that is often funny or silly. Puns use the different meanings of words that sound similar.

The headline on this article is a twist on the old saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” This old saying means that it is as useful to save your money as it is to earn more.
The definition of ‘spurned’ is: to reject with dislike. Now that you know this, how do you understand the article’s headline?

What words in the following sentences show that they are puns?
1. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
2. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
3. A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
4. Seven days without pizza makes one weak.
5. I used to be a baker, but I didn’t make enough dough.