Doug Ford announces $1 beer by Labour Day weekend

Ontario government to announce buck-a-beer plan

Today Premier Doug Ford is expected to reveal the provincial government's buck-a-beer plan.

The price floor will affect beer that contains an alcohol percentage below 5.6%. It will go into effect on Monday August 27, 2018.

It was one of Mr. Ford's signature campaign promises during the spring election, and on Tuesday the Ford government announced it was going ahead with a plan to lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from the current $1.25. He also indicated there are no tax incentives involved and tax payers' money will not be used. "We trust Ontario beer drinkers and other consumers to make their own smart, mature and responsible choices". "They created a new rule, another piece of red tape that made a buck-a-beer illegal", said Mr. Ford.

It is unknown if any additional Ontario craft breweries will participate.

Brewers would not be required to charge less, but the source says the government hopes to get brewers on board with incentives for those who cut prices. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price".

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Annual indexing for all packaged beer will be suspended to maintain the $1.00 minimum floor price over time.

The Liberals had cited the government's "social responsibility" mandate for the 25-cent increase in beer prices at the time. "Here we have a premier that's cutting income to the very poorest amongst us as a priority and at the same time subsidizing buck a beer", NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said, referring to the Tories' plan to wind down a basic income pilot project.

News of buck a beer's return was met with concern from safety groups and criticism from the opposition parties. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

The Liberals raised the minimum price after being lobbied by major breweries, documents have shown. Ford, who will visit a brewery today in Picton, Ontario, also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario.

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