Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

An Alberta judge has ruled the government's mark-up policy on craft beer is unconstitutional. THE CANADIAN PRESS  AP  Toby Talbot

The Ontario government says it will offer "non-financial incentives" to brewers who sell their beer for $1 once the province's buck-a-beer plan is in place later this month.

A source with knowledge of the plan told The Canadian Press last week that the Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from $1.25 by the Labour Day weekend.

Effective Aug. 27, Ontario's government will lower the minimum price floor to $1 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6%. "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. "Instead we're going to do what we said we would do and put Ontario consumers first".

The Premier criticized the former Liberal government for increasing the price a decade ago by 25 cents. Ford campaigned on the idea of lowering beer prices with the catchy slogan.

The minimum retail price for beer was $1 in Ontario between 2005 and 2008, before the government banned it in 2008. Mothers Against Drunk Driving worries lower prices may lead to increased consumption.

It is unknown if any additional Ontario craft breweries will participate.

Ford has also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario. "My friends we're going to do our part because a buck a beer is coming to a shelf near you". The new price will not be indexed to inflation.

Brewers are not required to charge less, but Ford says that there will be various incentives for those that do charge less. Beers lowered to $1 could receive promotional and advertising support, short-term discounts and more prominent displays in the stores. Napanee Beer Company tweeted that it won't participate in this: "There are a lot of things that our province needs", they said, "but "buck a beer" isn't one of them".

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