One of the first few businesses to have reportedly refused to accept the copper coin has emerged in Chatham, Ont. The Royal Canadian Mint has confirmed that it is absolutely legal to refuse the coins. The mint alleged that all businesses are completely capable and posses a legal right to refuse any form of payment, including rejecting Canadian currency like the penny. The spokesperson of The Royal Canadian Mint, Alex Reeves, confirmed that “they can refuse to take pennies if they like, just as we’ve seen in the past merchants posting notices that they don’t take the old paper $50 and $100 bank notes.”
This incident came as a complete shock to Charlene Houle, who visited a franchise of Burger King restaurant in Chatham-Kent, east of Windsor, which refused to accept the penny coins. She explained that “I had $5 and five pennies piled up ready to go and she handed me back the pennies and said, ‘we don’t take pennies.'” Houle added that “I guess I was shocked that they could do that, that they didn’t have to take legal money.” Media sources have gotten in touch with the franchisee of the restaurant, who claims that there might be some confusion about the penny as he has only instructed his employees to refuse rolled pennies but not loose ones.
It is suspected by the Royal Canadian Mint that not many businesses will refuse the penny, at least not any time soon. Reeves claimed that “It doesn’t seem like that’s a trend at all. Businesses are choosing to be as customer-friendly as possible.”
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