Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

Doug Ford says the PCs have scrapped the Liberal legislation making the minimum price for a bottle or can $1.25.

Last week, the Ford government reversed its promise to keep Ontario's basic income pilot going.

To encourage brewers to lower their prices, the Premier formally launched the 'Buck-a-Beer Challenge.' Any brewer who agrees to lower their prices on or after August 27 will, for a limited time throughout the year, receive LCBO promotional considerations such as limited-time discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts. "It was hard for us to make beer anywhere less than $2 per short can in costs alone", he said in an open letter to the government.

"To be honest, I don't think it's going to affect us a whole lot", he said.

The minimum retail price for beer was $1.00 in Ontario from 2005 to 2008.

"Selling it for a $1 for us, that just wouldn't be possible", he said.

"Ontario, the day you've been waiting for is finally here", Ford said at a news conference inside the brewery, "We are bringing back a buck a beer to Ontario".

"You couldn't be more tone deaf on this subject", Portelance wrote.

"The impact extends beyond the price of a beer".

"Some of the bigger brewers can get in with a lower-priced beer perhaps but not the smaller ones". 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". "The margins are so tight".

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stressed that the amount of tax brewers pay on each unit of beer sold will remain unchanged.

Even consumers don't seem to be overwhelmingly in support of the government's announcement. "I don't know if we could actually sell canned water for $1 so we definitely couldn't sell premium craft beer". And he doubts many other brewers will take the premier's bait.

Toronto's The People's Pint, which has a logo that looks like a pint of beer in a glass that replaces the old Soviet Union's communist hammer and sickle, tweeted: "Our brewery will not be joining this #buckabeer race to the bottom". 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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