Ford's buck-a-beer plan likely to cost LCBO revenue

Glasses of beer are seen in this undated

Glasses of beer are seen in this undated

Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the then-Liberal government quietly hiked the minimum price in 2008, citing its "social responsibility" mandate.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly", said Ford in a statement issued Tuesday. He also indicated there are no tax incentives involved and tax payers' money will not be used. "We're bringing back buck-a-beer to Ontario".

The minimum retail price for beer was $1 in Ontario between 2005 and 2008, before the government banned it in 2008. "I don't know if his plan was to make the breweries look greedy or just to underscore his populist direction, but it is ridiculous", he said, adding the move ignores the shift towards more complex and well-crafted beer.

It will be left to the province's 260 brewers to decide whether they want to drop their prices, prompting some to question whether the legislation will actually amount to buck-a-beer as promised. "I just don't think this is something our membership would ever entertain", Mr. Simmons said.

The province's move to try and roll back prices at a time when the cost to produce beer is at an all-time high is puzzling to many across the province.

"I'd like to see gas lowered to that price instead of the beer", said another man.

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.

The price of beer cans has jumped in recent months because of the escalating trade war with the United States which has slapped a 10-per-cent tariff on aluminium. "We would probably be losing at least half of that".

"These are normal business expenses for our stores and no costs will be incurred to either LCBO consumers or Ontario taxpayers", it said. Once upon a time, you could buy a beer for $1 a bottle. Many Ontarians took to Twitter Tuesday to voice their discontent with the "buck-a-beer" announcement, particularly in light of the government's recent cancellation of a Basic Income Pilot project.

"Don't expect us to get involved in this", Mr. Burtch said.

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.

Latest News