The last Canadian penny was minted on Friday. It’s being discontinued mainly because of cost. It actually cost 1.6 cents to make each penny, and given that pennies are rarely used by consumers it wasn’t deemed worthwhile to keep losing money making something that has become virtually obsolete.
Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia it costs 2.4 cents to produce each American penny. There has been talk of retiring it as well, but it doesn’t really seem to be on the horizon. If the US government doesn’t ditch the penny they should at least talk to the Canadian mint to find out how to reduce costs by .8 cents (or 33%) per coin.
If this site is correct and a minimum of roughly 7 billion pennies are minted in the US each year (that’s a conservative estimate) reducing the cost of producing each coin by .8 cents would save about $56 million per year. That’s not the savings for getting rid of the one cent coin- that’s the savings from producing it as efficiently as Canada did.