Grits To Crack Down on Paper Currency

The Liberal budget announced Tuesday — somewhat surreptitiously -- that some paper currency will no longer be accepted as legal tender.

While the Bank of Canada stopped printing the $1,000 note in 2000, there are still about 700,000 of those bills still in circulation across the country.

As part of a plan to crack down on counterfeiting, money laundering and tax evasion, the government, though buried deep in the 300-plus pages of its 2018 budget, says it will no longer allow those bills to be used to pay for goods and services. The budget does not say when those bills will cease to be legal tender.

The $1,000 note has long been a favourite of organized crime because it makes transporting money easier. But it's not the only bill headed for the dustbin of history. The $500, $25, $2 and $1 bills — none of which are currently being printed by the Bank of Canada and are rarely seen — also will no longer be usable.

While the budget didn't say exactly when the legal tender status will be withdrawn — subject to legislative amendments sometime in the future — the document seeks to reassure Canadians that still hold these bills that the Bank of Canada will continue to honour them and exchange them at face value in the meantime.

A Canadian can still deposit those notes at their local bank or credit union branch, which would in turn send them on to the central bank to be destroyed