Will the nickel follow the penny into retirement?
When the Royal Canadian Mint yanked the penny from circulation in 2013, the nickel became the country's smallest circulating denomination of pocket change. Graeme Roy/THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO -- Although the penny was forced into retirement in 2013, it appears the majority of Canadians aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the nickel just yet.
According to the Vancouver-based polling company Research Co., the majority of Canadians, or 55 per cent, disagreed the nickel should be taken out of circulation.
Thirty six per cent of respondents agreed the nickel should be discontinued like the penny.
There were regional differences, however.
Residents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba seemed to favour the five-cent coin’s existence the most with 63 per cent of respondents in those provinces rejecting the idea that is should be removed.
Those in Atlantic Canada also appeared to like the nickel with 59 per cent preferring to keep it. In Ontario, 58 per cent of respondents didn’t want the coin to go, followed closely by British Columbians at 55 per cent.
The vote was split in Alberta where 50 per cent of respondents disagreed that the nickel should be discontinued. Finally, those in Quebec appeared to be the least keen on the nickel with only 47 per cent of residents there rejecting the idea of its removal.
The poll also found there were some differences in opinion depending on the ages of those surveyed.
Younger respondents aged 18 to 34 were slightly more likely (41 per cent) to suggest they would like to see the nickel removed from circulation, while 39 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 agreed the coin should go, and only 29 per cent of those 55 and over were in favour of its abandonment.
The results echoed those from the same survey, in which respondents were asked about their thoughts on the penny’s retirement.
According to the poll, 18 to 34 years old were the most likely to welcome the decision to abolish the penny (81 per cent) compared to those aged 35 to 54 (74 per cent), and those 55 and older (72 per cent).
The regional results for the penny differed from those recorded for the nickel, however.
For the penny, 21 per cent of residents in Atlantic Canada opposed the one-cent coin’s discontinuation followed closely by 20 per cent of those in British Columbia and Ontario. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 18 per cent of residents disagreed with the decision. Alberta respondents didn’t appear to miss the penny very much with only 15 per cent against its removal.
Quebecers were once again the most in favour of the coin’s removal with only 14 per cent of residents in disagreement with the move.
Overall though, it appears most Canadians (75 per cent) still agree with the federal government’s decision to remove the penny from circulation in February 2013.
As for the future of the nickel, there haven’t been any recent indications from the federal government that it will go the way of the penny any time soon. Three years ago, an internal federal analysis showed the government had looked into its feasibility, but no plans regarding its future were announced.
The online survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in Canada from Nov. 25 to 27 with the data statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, according to the poll.