Doug Ford announces plan to bring $1 brews back to Ontario

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

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

"Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts", Ford said at the event.

"A buck-a-beer might be doable if there wasn't so much hidden tax on beer", the organization wrote in a statement emailed to Global News.

Beer fans across Ontario can officially start counting down the days until the return of "Buck-a-Beer", the popular $1-per-beer price floor that delighted people across Ontario until it was cancelled when the previous government abruptly introduced new beer price regulations. The "buck-a-beer" changes don't apply to brews sold in restaurants and bars, nor will they affect the price of ciders, wines and other spirits.

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. Based on the current provincial minimum price of $1.25 per bottle, the lowest a 24-bottle case of beer can be sold for is $30. "You may have some breweries react negatively", he said, explaining that lower-priced brands are more likely to opt-in to the scheme.

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Speaking in Picton, Ont., the premier said that any brewer that agrees to brew beer that would sell in the LCBO for a dollar per can or bottle may get special shelf space, as what the PCs called a "non-financial incentive".

"I like Doug's idea of putting beer in corner stores and I this as a first step towards things like that", he said.

Taxes on alcohol sales in Canada have been steadily increasing for decades, with the most recent hike happening in April 2018 when the federal government raised taxes on local and imported beer by two per cent. Each type has a different audience, and the $1 beer price caters to just one of those audiences, he suggested.

Tweeted Great Lakes Beer: "You definitely won't see #FreshGLB take part in this".

Beer snobs don't seem ready to think outside of the bottle. Lakeport, the brewery that adopted and popularized "buck-a-beer" in the past before being purchased by Labatt, also still sells for just $1.60 a can.

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