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Finance minister urges Canadians to donate pennies

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By The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - The last penny has dropped in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg has struck the final one-cent coin under the eye of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Flaherty pushed a button on a machine that moments later spit out the last batch of shiny pennies to enter circulation in Canada.

Flaherty announced in the March budget that the coin would no longer be produced because the cost of making it is more than it's worth.

Speaking at the Mint, he said the penny has become — quote — "a burden on Canada's balance sheet."

Flaherty is urging Canadians to donate their coppers to charity.

Canada joins several countries that have already dropped pennies or their equivalent, including Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel and South Africa.

The Canadian Press
© The Canadian Press, 2015

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