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BURP ALERT - Ford to roll out buck-a-beer plan Tuesday

07 August 2018

Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the Liberal government quietly hiked the minimum price in 2008, citing its "social responsibility" mandate.

The Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent to $1 from $1.25 starting August 27 - a few days before the Labour Day weekend.

"We were elected on a promise to reduce red tape and put the people first", said Premier Doug Ford, who made the announcement while visiting the Barley Days Brewery."This included a promise to bring "Buck-a-Beer" back to Ontario".

"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.

The lower minimum price will not apply to draft beer and won't include the bottle deposit.

That will be in place by the Labour Day weekend, said a source.

Ford has also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario. The new price will not be indexed to inflation.

The province is hoping brewers will get on board with the buck-a-beer plan and incentives will be offered for those who do. Beers lowered to $1 could receive promotional and advertising support, short-term discounts and more prominent displays in the stores.

The move is voluntary for the province's 260 brewers, and has raised questions about how many will actually implement cheaper prices given higher costs since beer was last allowed to be sold at $1 - a decade ago. "I think it's a great deal", said Mr. Ford in an appeal to brewers. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price".

"There are no tax dollars that are being reduced to allow for the buck-a-beer", said Mr. Fedeli.

BURP ALERT - Ford to roll out buck-a-beer plan Tuesday