Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

Jeannie Matthews
August 8, 2018

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was all smiles today as he helped stack beer at the Barley Days Brewery in Picton; all smiles, too, as he delivered on an election promise to lower the minimum price on a bottle of beer.

The source said the government hopes to get brewers on board by launching what it calls a "buck-a-beer challenge" with incentives for those who cut prices to $1.

The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.

The Ford Government is bringing in a buck-a-beer just ahead of the Labor Day weekend. "They created a new rule, another piece of red tape that made a buck-a-beer illegal", said Mr. Ford. Beers lowered to $1 could receive promotional and advertising support, short-term discounts and more prominent displays in the stores. "This included a promise to bring "Buck-a-Beer" back to Ontario. The premier is asking beer producers to lower their prices down to a dollar".

"These are normal business expenses for our stores and no costs will be incurred to either LCBO consumers or Ontario taxpayers", it said.

"After spending weeks ripping up contracts and curriculums, dismantling climate plans and pilot projects, this is the first time the premier has actually given us something".

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"Is this the premier's priority?"

Annual indexing for all packaged beer will be suspended to maintain the $1.00 minimum floor price over time. "We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair".

While some consumers welcome the news, some brewers say they won't participate.

The plan for buck-a-beer is being met with skepticism from some Toronto brewers who say they have other challenges to worry about.

The Ford government also has plans to allow the sale of beer and wine in corner stores. Ford would not confirm or deny the reports, saying only that an announcement would come later.

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