Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Ontario to offer incentives to brewers in buck-a-beer plan

Ontario to offer incentives to brewers in buck-a-beer plan

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly", said Ford in a statement issued Tuesday.

"We promised buck-a-beer and we're delivering on our campaign promise", he added. While some beer drinkers are happy with the possibility of paying less for their suds, others are criticizing Ford for what they believe to be misplaced priorities.

It's official. "Buck-a-Beer" is coming back to Ontario in time for the Labour Day long weekend.

Asked whether he was concerned that cheaper beer might contribute to substance abuse and other harms, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make smart choices when it comes to alcohol, regardless of the lower price.

In order to encourage producers to lower their prices, Ford said his government would launch the buck-a-beer challenge, which would offer promotional programs, in-store displays and advertising to those who sell their beer at the minimum price.

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Ford, who was joined by Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Todd Smith, announced that, effective August 27, Ontario's Government for the People will lower the minimum price floor to $1.00 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly".

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.

"You couldn't be more tone deaf on this subject", Portelance wrote.

Ontario's previous buck a beer was changed by the Liberal government in 2008 as part of its social responsibility mandate.

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Brewers won't be forced to reduce their prices, but it could get them in the spotlight at LCBO stores. "Does he think reducing the beer price floor from $1.25 to $1 will solve real problems?"

The price of beer cans has jumped in recent months because of the escalating trade war with the United States which has slapped a 10-per-cent tariff on aluminium. Many Ontarians took to Twitter Tuesday to voice their discontent with the "buck-a-beer" announcement, particularly in light of the government's recent cancellation of a Basic Income Pilot project.

Even a brand like Laker, which once prided itself on its $1-a-bottle price point, is retailing at $1.95 for a 473 ml can.

Scott Simmons, president of the Ontario Craft Beer Association, told CBC Radio's All In A Day that craft beer has been the fastest growing category of beer in the province for a number of years. Angry residents created the hashtag #boycottbuckabeer which urged consumers to avoid buying beer at any brewer offering beer for $1 a bottle.

The premier was also asked about his plan for the sale of cannabis once it becomes legal in October, after some published reports said the province would allow private sector sales.

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