January 23, 2020

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Breaking down for you

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/3/2012 (2855 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Canada's one-cent coin will join the likes of VCRs and rotary telephones in the scrap heap of our memories over the next several years as Budget 2012 makes way for its gradual removal from circulation. It now costs 1.6 cents to produce every one cent coin and Ottawa has finally decided it's pound foolish to keep making them. The Royal Canadian Mint will stop making pennies this fall but the coins can still be used indefinitely. So don't worry that the piggy bank of pennies you've been saving since 1982 won't be valid anymore. But the banks might ask you to roll them yourself before you drop them on their tellers for exchange.

Age-defying budget

It can't revitalize your wrinkles but Budget 2012 does plan to put off old age for two more years in Canada when it comes to your money. As expected, the retirement age to qualify for Old Age Security or the Guaranteed Income Supplement in Canada will slowly rise to 67 years old from 65. Anyone who turns 65 years old on or before March 31, 2023 will not be affected. As of April 1, 2023 the the OAS and GIS eligibility age will go up by one month at a time over a six year period. By Feb. 1, 2029 the OAS and GIS age will be 67.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The troubled finances of Canada's newest national museum won't be bailed out by the federal government. That's the bad news. The good news is the museum isn't being asked to bear any of the weight of the $5.2 billion cuts across government departments. In fact, none of the national museums are facing any cuts. Heritage Canada found the bulk of its $191.1 million in cuts by slashing the CBC budget by 10 per cent, or $115 million a year.

Make a run for the Border

Starting in June, you can spend more when you travel outside Canada before having to pay duty and taxes as the government harmonizes its duty and tax-free exemptions with the United States. If you're gone more than 24 hours, you will be able to bring back $200 of goods before paying duty, up from $50 today. An absence of 48 hours or more will net you an $800 exemption, up from $400 now. The seven-day exemption will also be raised to $800 from the current $750. It will cost the government $13 million this year and $17 million next year to raise these exemptions but it will help streamline the border process as Canadians return home.

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