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Queen's Park Report: Buck-a-Beer is returning to Ontario

(August 8, 2018) - Our new government has fulfilled another one of the promises we made during the election campaign.

This week Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Minister of Government and Consumer Services Todd Smith announced that Buck-a-Beer will return to Ontario by August 27.

Premier Ford promised during the election campaign to bring back ‘Buck-a-Beer’ and I am happy to say: Promise made, promise kept.

 

The government is lowering the minimum price floor to $1 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6%. The minimum retail price for beer was $1 in Ontario from 2005 to 2008 until the previous Liberal government banned Buck-a-Beer by increasing the minimum price.

 

To encourage brewers to lower their prices in time for the Labour Day long weekend, 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.

 

We are not subsidizing brewers, as the opposition claims; we are working with brewers and giving them the option to lower prices for consumers. There are no financial incentives from the government and the tax portion of the cost of beer is not being reduced. Buck-a-Beer does not apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars and ciders, wines and spirits.

 

“We’re going to do this smartly and responsibly,” said Premier Ford. “And we trust Ontario beer drinkers and other consumers to make their own smart, mature and responsible choices.”

 

I am proud to say that Ontario is open for business. Our government was elected to eliminate job-killing red tape and put people first. Buck-a-Beer is part of our commitment to change alcohol retailing across the province including expanding the sale of beer and wine to convenience stores, grocery stores and big box stores.

 

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