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March 5, 2016 -- Canada sold off the last of its gold reserves last month. 

It is now the only G7 nation with virtually no gold reserves. 

The sell-off began in 1980. Canada's gold was effectively exchanged for interest-bearing foreign currencies.

Kenn interviews Colin Flaherty

Gold reserves assure a nation's sovereignty and stable domestic currency.  

Canada is among the largest gold producers in the world, but as of last month the government valued its official holdings of the precious metal at zero.

The country sold off 21,851 ounces of gold coins in February, the Finance Department said Thursday in a disclosure of its official international reserves. A footnote in the report said the government still has 77 ounces of the precious metal.

Asset valuations are rounded to the nearest $1 million in the official international reserves, so the value of the remaining gold was set at zero, department spokesman David Barnabe said by e-mail.

Data from the World Gold Council suggest Canada stands apart from its industrialized peers as the only G7 country without a stockpile of at least hundreds of tonnes of gold.

Canada’s gold reserves peaked in 1965, when it held as much as $1,150,000,000 in bullion and coins. In 1980, the government began selling its gold “at a gradual and controlled pace” to enhance returns, with the proceeds invested in interest-bearing foreign currency assets, according to the finance department website.

A department spokesman says the government has a long-standing policy of diversifying its portfolio by selling physical commodities like gold in order to invest instead in assets that are more easily traded.

Former senior Finance Department bureaucrat Don Drummond says he doesn’t think it makes any sense for Canada to hold any gold because it hasn’t delivered a good rate of return over time and it costs money to store it.

Drummond says that hundreds of years ago gold symbolized the wealth of a country.

Canada has been gradually selling from its gold stash for decades and, in recent years, the government has increased its holdings of U.S. and British currencies.

The last bullion was sold by December 2003. The remaining high quality coins were sold off by January 2014, Barnabe said.

All that remained were “lower-quality King George V $5 and $10 gold coins dated 1912, 1913 or 1914, which contained imperfections from handling or environmental conditions,” Barnabe said. They were melted off into gold bullion and are being sold off “at market prices.” 

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  1. The feeling I have about the West in general these days, is we're being liquidated by greedy disloyal politicians who're just shills for big corporations. Transferring public money in the form of tax revenue to private holdings, when that's not enough, they borrow more off China for future generations to pay back. Its no wonder they give away citizenship so cheaply these days.
    I wonder who bought the cheap gold from Canada?