Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Economy | By

BURP ALERT - Ford to roll out buck-a-beer plan Tuesday

BURP ALERT - Ford to roll out buck-a-beer plan Tuesday

The price floor will affect beer that contains an alcohol percentage below 5.6%.

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.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly", said Ford in a statement issued Tuesday.

Buck-a-beer is here.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, speaking to reporters at Queen's Park, said there is a cost to the province and that LCBO promotions do "have monetary value".

"You can't go anywhere without people asking 'when are you guys going to bring back buck a beer, '" Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, who was on-hand for the announcement, said.

His priorities, she added "are completely mixed up".

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 minimum retail price for beer was $1 in Ontario between 2005 and 2008, before the government banned it in 2008. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

The Greens said the beer program is an attempt to draw attention away from the government's controversial decisions to revoke the updated sex ed curriculum, scrap the basic income project and dismantle the cap-and-trade carbon pricing system. "But instead of a climate plan or help for people living in poverty, it's a cheap beer challenge", Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said in a statement.

The new price will not apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars or ciders, spirits and wine.

The Liberals raised the minimum price after being lobbied by major breweries, documents have shown. "We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair", the brewery wrote.

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.

"We aren't ready to talk about that right now", he said.

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