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Senator Pierrette Ringuette releases statement regarding the release of the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance study on Canada’s one cent coin

OTTAWA – Today, Senator Pierrette Ringuette responds to the release of a study by the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance recommending the removal of the one cent coin from circulation.


Senator Ringuette has released the following statement:


“While I do agree with the majority of the study’s conclusions, I do wish to express my regret that the Committee did not take in account certain testimony in regards to the study’s recommendations.


The Committee is recommending that the government promote after-tax rounding to the nearest 5¢ of the total for cash transactions only, however I have repeatedly raised objections to this recommendation as I believe that rounding should not discriminate between payment methods.


By only applying rounding to cash transactions, this will have a number of potential impacts that were not properly addressed in the study.


We had heard testimony from numerous witnesses that brought up these concerns including the impact it may have on consumer payment option patterns, potential conflicts with Quebec’s accurate pricing laws, and confusion at the cashier due to two different prices.


It could be unfair to those who do not have access to alternative methods of payment.


A few cents may seem like a small amount to some, but a few cents can add up when consumers make a large number of smaller transactions each day. Is it not this very government that thought a couple cents saved on a cup of coffee from the GST would invigorate the economy?


And as one witness noted, changes of a few cents have changed consumer patterns before and may happen with these changes as well.


As this report is read by Members of Parliament and the government makes its decision on what to do with the penny, I want them to read the transcript from the committee meetings, in particular the testimony of Gaston Lafleur (Conseil quebecois du commerce de detail), Diane J. Brisebois (Retail Council of Canada), and David Wilkes (Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors) on September 28th, 2010.


I ask them to get the full testimony and take the time to consider the implications of applying rounding to cash transactions only.”


A full transcript of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance for September 28th can be found at: