Ontario government to announce buck-a-beer plan

Premier Doug Ford has said bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market

Premier Doug Ford has said bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market

A Toronto beer store is pictured on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

Brewers are not required to charge less, but Ford says that there will be various incentives for those that do charge less.

He was joined by cabinet ministers Vic Fedeli and Todd Smith as he announced that, as of August 27, the government is lowering the minimum price floor from $1.25 to $1.00 per beer. Today I am proud to say: "Promise made, promise kept".

"The days of the government putting its hand in your pocket each time you buy a two-four or six-pack is over", said Ford. "Consumers loved it, participating breweries loved it; it was a win-win", said Mr. Ford during the announcement at a brewery in Prince Edward County.

Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the Liberal government quietly hiked the minimum price in 2008, citing its "social responsibility" mandate. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

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The Premier did not comment on Tuesday on his larger campaign plan to allow for the wider sale of alcohol in Ontario, including expanding beer and wine sales to corner stores and big box stores. The new price will not be indexed to inflation.

Ford said that throughout the year, brewers who do drop their prices will be eligible for limited time discounts, ads in LCBO flyers and in-store promotions such as end-of-aisle features or extended shelves.

"And it won't affect the provincial treasury as beer is a volumetric tax".

The Tories have said a return to buck a beer would see more competition in the beer market without affecting the province's revenues from beer and wine taxes, which government documents show brought in roughly $589 million in 2016-2017.

The Premier of Ontario has announced his plan to make beer cheaper.

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