Ontario to offer incentives to brewers in buck-a-beer plan

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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.

Doug Ford laid out his "buck-a-beer" plan at a brewery in Picton on Tuesday morning.

Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer. 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.

Scott Simmons, president of the Ontario Craft Beer Association, told CBC Radio's All In A Day that craft beer has been the fastest growing category of beer in the province for a number of years.

"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".

However, brewers are not required to charge less, and the lower minimum price is expected to exclude draft beer and excludes the bottle deposit.

Outside the brewery Tuesday, people gathered to protest the buck-a-beer program and other changes made by the Ford Government.

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McIsaac added that, ultimately, lowering the minimum price of beer from $1.25 to $1 is pretty inconsequential.

"If the government wants to help society", he says, "they could start by putting a minimum price on other things that are more important to people who could use a helping hand". Mothers Against Drunk Driving worries lower prices may lead to increased consumption.

It will offer breweries who lower their prices promotional considerations like limited-time discounts, in-store displays 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. Once upon a time you could buy a beer for $1 a bottle.

For example: now, with the minimum price for beer set at $1.25 for 5.6 per cent alcohol or less, a 24-pack of Molson Canadian will cost about $40 at the Beer Store.

Tweeted Great Lakes Beer: "You definitely won't see #FreshGLB take part in this".

"Our cheapest beer costs us about $1.40 to make, and that's just pure cost to make the beer. We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that our current prices are very fair".

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.

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