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

Ontario government to announce buck-a-beer plan

Before 2008, "buck-a-beer" did exist, until the Liberal government boosted the price of a 24-pack of beer from $24 to $25.60.

The program will see the government-set minimum price of beer drop from $1.25 to $1.00 before tax and deposit.

A buck a beer is nearly here. It's up to brewers to actually pass down the savings of $1 beer to consumers.

During the announcement, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make responsible choices. "I think people in Ontario are mature enough.to know when they've had one too many". However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

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

The Premier did not comment on Tuesday on his larger campaign plan to allow for the wider sale of alcohol in Ontario, including expanding beer and wine sales to corner stores and big box stores.

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When asked whether participating brewers would be subsidized to make up the difference in price, CTV News Toronto was told there would be "zero" financial incentives.

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.

It will offer breweries who lower their prices promotional considerations like limited-time discounts, in-store displays or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts.

To encourage the province's breweries to lower their prices, Ford launched the 'Buck-a-Beer Challenge'.

The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.

Ontario's New Democrats said Ford's efforts to reduce beer prices show his priorities are "completely mixed up", and suggested the plan effectively gives subsidies to beer companies.

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