Canadian mint: We own the words "one cent" and Toronto can't use them

A campaign to raise funds for cash-strapped Canadian cities has been contemptuously sabotaged by the federal government, who are demanding thousands of dollars in royalties for use of the "copyrighted" image of a Canadian penny and the phrase "one cent."

OneCentNow is a campaign by the City of Toronto to get the federal government to return one cent of the national Goods and Services Tax to Toronto, which is struggling in the wake of decades of federal cuts in their budget-transfers.

Now the federal corporation that mints Canada's currency has sent the City of Toronto a bill for more than $47,000 for the use of the words "one cent" and the picture of a penny in the campaign's logo in a citywide public education effort.

The Royal Canadian Mint, a corporation of the federal government, has now demanded that the City of Toronto pay $47,680 for the public education campaign. Included in this amount is a request for $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign website address ( and the campaign email address (, and an additional $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign phone number (416-ONECENT). The remaining $27,680 has been assessed against the City for the use of the image of the Canadian penny in printed materials such as pins and posters. (The Mint has come to this amount by taking the total number of materials printed divided by the approximate population of Toronto, and then using a percentage of that number to arrive at a dollar figure.)


(Thanks, Dave!)