Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Buck-a-beer details confirmed, Ontario brewery announces participation

Buck-a-beer details confirmed, Ontario brewery announces participation

The new price floor doesn't apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars or ciders, spirits and wine.

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But other Ontario craft breweries have made it clear that they have no intention to take part in the program, with Great Lakes Brewery posting on Twitter that they "believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair", and Hometown Brew Co. stating that they value "quality & sustainability above all else".

Addressing the media and a crowd of protesters, Ford announced that the buck-a-beer program will come into effect August 27, just in time for the Labour Day weekend.

During the announcement, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make responsible choices.

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A source told The Canadian Press last week that the Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to one-dollar from $1.25 by the Labour Day weekend. "Instead we're going to do what we said we would do and put Ontario consumers first".

The PC government is calling the move the "buck-a-beer challenge" and said the move is aimed at creating more competition in the market among brewers.

The Liberals had cited the government's "social responsibility" mandate for the 25-cent increase in beer prices at the time.

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.

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A check of the LCBO's website shows that only one bottled beer comes close to the existing provincial minimum price. "There should not be any government tax incentives to reduce the cost of alcohol", the statement went on to say.

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.

McIsaac said only bigger breweries will be able to sell beer for $1 and craft beer drinkers aren't likely to switch over, just because it's cheaper.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said there are no financial incentives from the government and the tax portion of the cost of beer is not being reduced. It's up to brewers to actually pass down the savings of $1 beer to consumers. And he doubts many other brewers will take the premier's bait.

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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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