In keeping with his populist campaign promises, Premier Doug Ford joined by Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Todd Smith, made the announcement at a press conference held at Barley Days Brewery in Picton this morning.
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.
"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly".
Barley Days Brewery - one of the first breweries to open in Prince Edward County - has noted they plan to release a $1 beer created specifically for that price point.
"I don't think a lot of breweries will be participating in this", Meek said, "I think it's a bad idea".
It will be left to the province's 260 brewers to decide whether they want to drop their prices, prompting some to question whether the legislation will actually amount to buck-a-beer as promised. The LCBO says up to 214 of its 660 outlets could host an identical end of aisle display for roughly one month or one "promotional turn" as they call it, at a cost of $36,000 to $46,000.
The province's move to try and roll back prices at a time when the cost to produce beer is at an all-time high is puzzling to many across the province.
It appears a 25 cent reduction in the price of a beer will be achieved by lowering the tax. It was also confirmed that new minimum price will be allowed for beers at a strength of 5.6% abv and lower, and it will not apply to draught product.
The move will have no effect on the province's almost $600-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price".
"There's definitely no money in it", said Big Rig's Ladell.
Ontario Craft Brewer's Simmons said he isn't hearing much support for the initiative from his members.
"These are normal business expenses for our stores and no costs will be incurred to either LCBO consumers or Ontario taxpayers", it said.
"I'd like to pay less for a case of beer when I go into a store". Many Ontarians took to Twitter Tuesday to voice their discontent with the "buck-a-beer" announcement, particularly in light of the government's recent cancellation of a Basic Income Pilot project.
Muskoka Brewery was one of the companies that declined to participate today.
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