05/03/2012 10:01 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadian Mint rolls out last penny

The Royal Canadian Mint will make Canada's last penny Friday at its Winnipeg plant.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will be on hand for the ceremonial coin strike to mark the end of production of the one-cent coin for Canadian circulation.

Flaherty announced in his budget last month that the government is eliminating the penny from Canada's coinage system, citing low purchasing power and rising production costs

The government will phase the penny out starting this fall, when the Mint will stop distributing the coin to financial institutions.

Over time, that will lead to the penny effectively becoming extinct, although the government has noted that one-cent coins will always be accepted in cash transactions for as long as people are holding on to them.

As well, credit, debit and cheque transactions will be unaffected, so one cent will be the base unit of Canadian currency.

The ceremonial last strike of the penny starts at 11 a.m. CT on Friday at the Mint's coin production facility on Lagimodiere Boulevard in Winnipeg.