By Alan Parker - Monday, February 4, 2013 - 0 Comments
The Royal Canadian Mint is finally beginning its phase-out of the penny today — and not a minute too soon.
The penny hasn’t made a lick of sense since penny candy started costing more than one cent — and that was before Lester Pearson became prime minister. It’s been costing taxpayers more than its face value to produce since the 1980s.
So good riddance to the feckless penny. Now the Mint should seriously think about getting rid of a couple of other coins that have outlived their usefulness — the nickel and the dime.
Why? Because a century of inflation has robbed them of intrinsic value.
According to the Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator, the Canadian dollar of 1914 had the purchasing power of about $20 in today’s dollars. So a penny then had the purchasing power of 20 cents today. Likewise, a nickel had roughly the same value as a dollar today and having a dime in your pocket a century ago was the same thing as having a toonie now.
The humble penny may have had even more worth back then than the Bank of Canada gives it credit for. Consider that 100 years ago most daily Canadian newspaper cost one cent. The price in competitive Toronto did not rise to two cents until 1917 and that new price held for more than 20 years. Compare that to what you pay for a newspaper today and you get some sense of the real worth of a penny a century ago.
So the penny, nickel and dime were all useful, valuable coins — 100 years ago. Today they just wear needless holes in your pocket or collect in a jar.
By Martin Patriquin - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 4 Comments
The story of how the Canadian magazine solved its 90-year-old branding problem
The Beaver is no longer, killed off on its 90th birthday. As of its April issue, the name of Canada’s second oldest magazine has been scrubbed from the masthead, replaced with Canada’s History. Though its staff says the name change is necessary to reflect its evolution—“We’ve become a multi-platform magazine,” says editor Mark Reid—the main reason was to put an end to the snickering, once and for all.
Call it death by double entendre. Rarely has the title evoked only the industrious, slick-haired rodent. The term’s other, more carnal meaning, a slang term for a specific part of the female anatomy, has been a distraction for years, cheapening this earnest, wholesome publication, clogging subscriber spam filters and ultimately hurting its bottom line. “Yes, I like beavers, the animals, just as much as anybody else,” Reid said recently.
“It’s a historic creature, it’s on our nickel, it’s a proud part of the fur trade. But in the 21st century, if you are going to rebrand your entire organization, including all that you do, ‘beaver’ is probably not going to be the word that best speaks to what you do, if you know what I mean.”