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Tories expected to unveil buck-a-beer scheme

Provincial government also promises to expand beer and wine sales to corner and box stores

beer bottles - web

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to roll out the provincial government’s buck-a-beer plan when he visits a brewery early¬†Tuesday in Picton, Ont.

The move was one of Ford’s promises during the spring election campaign. He has also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario.

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.

Brewers would not be required to charge less, however, and the lower minimum price would not apply to draft beer, nor would it include the bottle deposit.

The source said the government hopes to get brewers on board by launching what it calls a “buck-a-beer challenge” with incentives for those who cut prices to $1.

The Tories 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 government documents show brought in roughly $589 million in 2016-2017.

Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the Liberal government quietly hiked the minimum price in 2008, citing its “social responsibility” mandate.

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