Canadians Are Cutting $20s in Half, Spending Them

'We can always put them back together,' says user of 'demi'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2015 1:19 AM CDT
Updated Sep 6, 2015 9:50 AM CDT
The Bank of Canada isn't happy about the "demi" $20s.   (Bank of Canada)

(Newser) – Did they run out of change? Nobody's quite sure how it began, but people in a Canadian region have been cutting their money in half before they spend it, the CBC reports. In Quebec's Gaspe region—an area the size of South Carolina, with around 140,000 residents—some retailers accept the halved $20s, $10s, and $5s at half the original value. Residents are calling the "new" local currency the "demi," which is French for "half."

The Bank of Canada says that while the practice isn't outlawed, it is "inappropriate" to cut your money in half. Gaspe residents argue that use of the demi, which apparently began earlier this year, boosts the local economy by making sure cash stays in the area. "In the worst case, if we find ourselves in trouble, we just need to make a call out to collect all the bills with the same serial number to restore the value," a demi user tells the CBC. "We can always put them back together." (Canada stopped making pennies a couple of years ago.)

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