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

Doug Ford promised 'Buck-a-Beer, ' and now that he's premier he's delivering on that promise quite quickly.

He was joined by cabinet ministers Vic Fedeli and Todd Smith as he announced that, as of August 27, the government is lowering the minimum price floor from $1.25 to $1.00 per beer.

During the announcement, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make responsible choices.

"Under Ford's plan, brewers won't be required to charge less but they will be given incentives like prime spots in LCBO stores".

A buck a beer is nearly here. "Here we have a premier who is cutting income to the very poorest amongst us as a priority, and at the same time subsidizing buck-a-beer", referring to the recent cancellation of the basic income pilot program.

"Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts", Ford said, calling the move a "win-win".

Up until 2008, the minimum price for a beer was $1 until the provincial Liberals raised it to $1.25. Ford, who will visit a brewery today in Picton, Ontario, also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario. "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. The new price will not be indexed to inflation.

The source said the government hopes to get brewers on board by launching what it calls a "buck-a-beer challenge" with incentives for those who cut prices to $1. Napanee Beer Company tweeted that it won't participate in this: "There are a lot of things that our province needs", they said, "but "buck a beer" isn't one of them". "I think it's a great deal", said Mr. Ford in an appeal to brewers.

The conservatives campaigned that bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market "without affecting the province's revenues" from beer and wine taxes - approximately $589 million in 2016-17 as stated in government documents.

Vanessa Coleman

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