A new poll suggests that one out of three Canadians would be happy if we took the nickel out of circulation, the same way we got rid of the penny in 2013.
A Research Co. survey published earlier this month found 36 per cent of Canadians want to get rid of the five-cent coin, while 55 per cent think we should keep the nickel around.
The results are skewed by age, with Canadians from the ages of 18 to 34 being more in favour of phasing out the coin (41 per cent) compared to older demographics. Only 39 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 wanted to do the same, and 29 per cent of those over 55.
There were regional differences in the results, too. Canadians in Saskatchewan Manitoba were the most likely to want to keep the coin around, while those in Alberta and Quebec were more in favour of tossing the nickel.
There are arguments to be made in favour of losing the five-cent coin. A Desjardins study in 2016 said the nickel will likely be taken out of circulation “within about five years” due to its “decreased buying power.”
Once the smallest coin denomination is 10 cents, quarters will make little sense. That’s why Desjardins recommended 20- and 50-cent coins be introduced as common currency alongside the existing dimes.
Canada wouldn’t be the first country to make the move. New Zealand stopped using nickels in 2006 because inflation had greatly reduced their value.
The production of nickels is still cost-effective for the Royal Canadian Mint, The Canadian Press reported in 2016, which wasn’t the case when the government decided to axe the penny.
No penny, no problem
Despite the reluctance from most Canadians to take the nickel out of circulation, the majority of those surveyed were satisfied with the decision to stop using pennies.
The survey found 75 per cent of Canadians agreed with the government’s decision to stop using pennies. Results were particularly favourable in younger age groups, with 81 per cent of Canadians from 18 to 34 agreeing with the choice, while only 74 per cent of those 35 to 54 and 72 per cent of those over 55 feeling the same.
Research Co. conducted the online study among 1,000 Canadian adults in November, and weighed the results against census data for age, gender and region. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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