Media advisory - Opinion by FCM President Gord Steeves on the Royal Canadian Mint's efforts to collect a fee from the City of Toronto for depicting the Canadian penny in its "One Cent Now!" campaign



    OTTAWA, Oct. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The following opinion piece by FCM
President Gord Steeves comments on efforts by the Royal Canadian Mint to
collect a fee from the City of Toronto for using the image of a Canadian penny
in its "One Cent NOW!" campaign.
    The campaign, endorsed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
(FCM), focuses on securing the equivalent of one cent of the GST for cities
and communities across the country.

    Squeezing the penny for all it's worth
    By Gord Steeves

    Most Canadians think pennies are more trouble than their worth, but not
the Royal Canadian Mint, which is trying to squeeze a fee out of the people of
Toronto for using the image of a Canadian penny in its "One Cent NOW!"
campaign.
    News reports also indicate the Mint wants to collect for using the phrase
"one cent now" in the campaign web address. Seems it owns the words "one
cent".
    So Canada's largest city, which is leading a campaign-endorsed by
municipal governments across the country-for more revenue so cities can
provide essential public services, is being squeezed financially by a publicly
owned corporation.
    Allowing for the moment that images are sometimes owned and must be
licensed, surely the Mint's management has some latitude in whether to go
after everyone who uses this particular iconic image. What's next, fees for
using the word dollar in "Dollar Days"?
    To go after a municipality for using an image of the national coinage to
make a point in a public education campaign suggests bad judgment. It's not
like the city is selling souvenirs bearing the likeness of a penny to turn a
profit.
    So perhaps it's time for officials at the Mint to exercise some
discretion and exempt this use of the penny's image as falling in the
non-profit, public education category and give Toronto's taxpayers, who are
already squeezing their pennies, a break.

    Gord Steeves is President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
and a municipal councillor in Winnipeg, Man.




For further information:

For further information: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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