Economy

Ford Announces Buck-a-Beer Plan

Ford Announces Buck-a-Beer Plan”

A buck a beer is nearly here.

Eric Portelance, who co-owned Halo Brewery in Toronto until earlier this year, said the buck-a-beer challenge is "insulting" to brewers and distorts the market by devaluing their product.

"We were elected on a promise to reduce red tape and put the people first", said Premier Doug Ford, who made the announcement while visiting the Barley Days Brewery."This included a promise to bring "Buck-a-Beer" back to Ontario".

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said at Queen's Park on Tuesday there is no doubt Ford's plan will cost the LCBO money. That minimum price had been $1.25 under the Liberal government for a decade.

Brewers are not required to charge the lower rate and few in the province sell at the current minimum. "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 lower minimum price will not apply to draft beer and won't include the bottle deposit.

Paul Meek with Kitchesippi Beer Company isn't on board with the idea. "I think people in Ontario are mature enough to know when they've had one too many", he said.

Meek says Kitchesippi contributes to the community through a variety of charitable events and supports a staff that is well-paid with good benefits, both of which would have to be cut if he were to cut the price of a bottle of beer to a dollar. "There are more important things to choose from". "And it won't affect the provincial treasury as beer is a volumetric tax".

And Muskoka Brewery added "We support living wages and fresh quality brews".

But many folks at the Beer Store today are in. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price". In a statement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said lowering the price of beer carries a risk to public safety, and can lead to an increase in alcohol-related problems including impaired driving.



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