Buck-a-beer? No dice, say Ottawa brewers


Andrea Horwath, the leader of Ontario's New Democratic Party, slammed Ford for keeping his promises regarding beer while turning his back on the 4,000 residents who were relying on the unconditional payments to buy healthier food, access childcare or go back to school.

If you're expecting a discount on your favourite craft brew from Premier Doug Ford's avowed buck-a-beer program, you could be crying in your suds.

The minimum price of a bottle or can of beer is to be lowered to $1 from $1.25.

At a news conference in Prince Edward County on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford announced he would be introducing legislation to roll back the minimum price that brewers can sell beer for from $1.25 per 341 ml bottle to $1.

The Conservatives have said a return to buck a beer would see more competition in the beer market without affecting the province's revenues from beer and wine taxes, which the provincial government has said brought in $589 million in 2016-2017. "Here we have a premier that's cutting income to the very poorest amongst us as a priority and at the same time subsidizing buck a beer", she said, referring to the Tories' plan to cancel a basic income pilot project. I can confidently say that a buck-a-beer won't deliver that. 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.

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"Buck-a-Beer" will not apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars or ciders, spirits and wine. "I just don't think this is something our membership would ever entertain", Mr. Simmons said.

Taxes on alcohol sales in Canada have been steadily increasing for decades, with the most recent hike happening in April 2018 when the federal government raised taxes on local and imported beer by two per cent. "We're going to continue on doing what we are doing and the consumers will decide if our beer is the right price or not".

The price of beer cans has jumped in recent months because of the escalating trade war with the United States which has slapped a 10-per-cent tariff on aluminium. "We firmly believe that you really do get what you pay for", the brewery wrote. "Instead we're going to do what we said we would do and put Ontario consumers first".

A number of other breweries, including Great Lakes Brewery, Muskoka Brewery and The Napanee Beer Co., voiced frustration with the initiative and vowed that they wouldn't participate.