In March 2012, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the penny would be eliminated as part of federal budget cuts, estimated to save taxpayers $11 million per year. As of today, Feb. 4, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer make or distribute pennies, and businesses will be encouraged to round cash transactions.
The Government of Canada has adopted a rounding guideline where only final amounts (after tax) should be subject to rounding:
This is not going to have any impact on payments by cheque or electronic method – only cash transactions will be affected. You can still use pennies but it will be up to businesses whether they will accept them or not.
Therefore, for example, a coffee normally costing $3.69 plus tax equalling $4.13 would be rounded to $4.15 cash. If you’re paying by debit or credit, it would still be $4.13.
If you want to cash your jars full of pennies, take them to the bank in rolls.