Canadian Government is Phasing Out Printed Cheques

By News Canada

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With a three-year plan underway, the federal government is phasing out printed cheques completely in favour of faster, safer and more convenient 'direct deposit' payments. By April 1, 2016, Canadian individuals and businesses will no longer receive paper cheques in the mail.

As early as 2014, this initiative is expected to save approximately $17.4 million per year. The cost to produce a cheque is approximately 82 cents, while a direct deposit works out to only 13 cents to process. In future, a cheque will only be issued under exceptional circumstances, for example when someone does not have access to a financial institution because they live in a remote location.

"The Government of Canada is committed to using taxpayer dollars wisely," says Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "Increasing the direct deposit service will contribute significant savings by a reduction in the use of paper, plus related cheque-printing and delivery costs."

She points out that the Receiver General issues more than 275 million payments annually, of which close to 79 % are already made by direct deposit. Citizens and businesses currently receiving federal government cheques have the next three years to register for the change. Enrolment forms are obtained from the Receiver General web site, or from federal government departments. Starting immediately, the only method for new payment recipients will be as direct deposit.

By modernizing and saving taxpayer dollars, this plan is also in tandem with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy aimed at reducing paper consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

More information, including enrolment forms, is available online at

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Showing 1 to 6 of 6 comments.

I think people on welfare or disability should be forced back to work to earn a decent paycheque instead of relying on government hand outs. Take the direct deposit or get nothing. Tax payers are paying for your many addictive behaviours and health related costs. Maybe denial in health care services should be considered by the government for those people dumb enough to waste tax payer dollars on smokes, booze and illicit drugs.

Posted by Nick | December 21, 2015 Report Violation

This is a great thing. With the advancement of technology this is a more secure and faster way to attain your finances from the Government. If you do not have a bank accoutn then it is time to get one. The days of old are behind us time to catch up. One day in the future hopefully there will be no more cash as well as no more bank fees. We need a credit system the whole world can unite upon. The end goal is not our own persoanl advancement but the advancement of society to make a more productive earth for our future citizens. This is not an infrigment as there are many laws to protect your personal rights.

Posted by Scott | May 15, 2015 Report Violation

Barb you are right on.The government, by trying to force direct deposit is indirectly forcing the use of debit. Many issues here that negatively effect seniors, and without access to their hard earned funds could become homeless if unable to access money to pay their bills. Bad weather, sickness, distance for the frail & many other concerns with direct deposit. If the majority are already signed up then leave the others alone. This should be voluntary not compulsory! Another issue is Privacy. What right does the government have to know our banking information. This smells of Communism in a supposed Democratic society. How are people in nursing homes suppose to get to a bank, drive down the street in a wheel chair. Many seniors have paid lawyers for a simple document giving a friend or family member permssion to cash checks only. There are many ways to cash cheques and seniors need to know that they are secure with no worries from this Government insisting on something that's unrealistic for most seniors.

Posted by Alicia Weir | May 5, 2015 Report Violation

There is no bank account service charge for senior at most financial institutions, but you have to ask for it.

Posted by kean chong | January 31, 2015 Report Violation

What is you don't have a bank account? I'm sure there are thousands of low income people who don't have one. Bank accounts are not free (like they said), if you have no balance in it. There is a monthly service charge.

Posted by James Bragg | January 13, 2015 Report Violation

This is so stupid, a number of clients write me cheques on a daily basis, often leave them when they won't be home. What's next will the Canadian government phase out cash and force us all to use debit!

Posted by Barb Thompson | April 25, 2014 Report Violation

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