Economy

Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

Beer fans across Ontario can officially start counting down the days until the return of "Buck-a-Beer", the popular $1-per-beer price floor that delighted people across Ontario until it was cancelled when the previous government abruptly introduced new beer price regulations.

In 2008 the previous government chose to ban Buck-a-Beer by setting a higher minimum price and today the retail price floor sits at $1.25.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly", said Ford.

As well, he added, "the respect and appreciation they will get from consumers will be priceless".

News of buck a beer's return was met with concern from safety groups and criticism from the opposition parties.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, speaking to reporters at Queen's Park, said there is a cost to the province and that LCBO promotions do "have monetary value". Once upon a time you could buy a beer for $1 a bottle. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

The Liberals had cited the government's "social responsibility" mandate for the 25-cent increase in beer prices at the time.

In hopes of getting brewers on board with cheaper beer, Ford announced he is offering incentives to brewing companies.

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The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.

"After spending weeks ripping up contracts and curriculums, dismantling climate plans and pilot projects, this is the first time the premier has actually given us something".

"Is this the premier's priority?"

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

The Toronto-based Great Lakes Brewery tweeted its decision over the weekend after several media outlets, including The Canadian Press, reported that the plan would be announced Tuesday. "We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair", the brewery wrote.

The Ford government also has plans to allow the sale of beer and wine in corner stores.

"We aren't ready to talk about that right now", he said.