'Buck-a-Beer' coming back to Ontario

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

Ford Announces Buck-a-Beer Plan

"It's a buck-a-beer challenge - they'll have end of aisle when it comes to the LCBO, they might have those shelf extenders, they might be able to go into the LCBO, but it's costing the taxpayers zero", Ford told reporters Tuesday.

Here's a breakdown of what Ford's promise means.

"We promised buck-a-beer and we're delivering on our campaign promise", he added.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was all smiles today as he helped stack beer at the Barley Days Brewery in Picton; all smiles, too, as he delivered on an election promise to lower the minimum price on a bottle of beer.

"The day you've been waiting for is finally here", Ford said.

The Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from $1.25 starting August 27 - a few days before the Labour Day weekend.

Breweries aren't required to change their prices. The lower price won't apply to draft beer and won't include the bottle deposit.

In 2008 the previous government made a decision to ban Buck-a-Beer by setting a higher minimum price and today the retail price floor sits at $1.25.

The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said. It's not clear how many brewers will take the Premier up on his offer.

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"It's not an advantage that is uniform across the board".

"A lot of it depends on how close you are", he said, explaining that higher-priced companies won't drop their prices that dramatically.

Even a brand like Laker, which once prided itself on its $1-a-bottle price point, is retailing at $1.95 for a 473 ml can.

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

It added that the taxes make up "a large part" of beer prices, and affordability of beer has to take that into account.

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.

A number of other breweries, including Great Lakes Brewery, Muskoka Brewery and The Napanee Beer Co., voiced frustration with the initiative and vowed that they wouldn't participate.

"We are committed to making a quality product that we are proud to serve and that means it will always cost more". "We firmly believe that you really do get what you pay for", the brewery wrote.

Buck-a-beer isn't entirely new in Ontario. In a statement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said lowering the price of beer carries a risk to public safety, and can lead to an increase in alcohol-related problems including impaired driving.

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