With penny on its deathbed, is nickel next?
OTTAWA - As the penny is set to begin retirement next month, there are already calls to put the nickel out to pasture as well.
The Royal Canadian Mint starts collecting one-cent coins on Feb. 4 for melting and recycling of the metal content, with some six billion pennies expected to be surrendered over the next six years.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the surprise demise in last year's budget, saying the penny had become a nuisance to many Canadians.
A former Bank of Canada economist now says the nickel is also becoming obsolete, and should be next in line for retirement.
Jean-Pierre Aubry says more and more Canadians are hoarding the five-cent coin, forcing the mint to produce 230 million last year alone to keep them in circulation.
A spokesman for Finance Canada says the government has no plans to eliminate the five-cent coin.