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Ford's buck-a-beer plan likely to cost LCBO revenue

10 August 2018

The Ontario government is working to sell beer for one dollar in the store, The Beer Store by labor Day (September 3), as reported by the news source CTV News Toronto, who requested anonymity.

"Ontario, the day you've been waiting for is finally here", Ford said at a news conference inside the brewery, "We are bringing back a buck a beer to Ontario".

Many brewers in the nation's capital say they can't afford to offer customers $1 beers because dialling sale prices back to 2008 levels - when the cost of everything it takes to make the beer have increased - is just bad for business.

He said he could not find any brewery in Ontario now selling beer at the current minimum price of $30 for a 24-pack.

Premier Doug Ford's indication Tuesday that brewers who agree to sell buck-a-beer will receive prominent placement in LCBO stores could cost the provincial crown corporation tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

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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.

Buck a beer promise was not going over well with these beer drinkers gathered outside Barley Days Brewery to protest the plan.

Ontario's previous buck a beer was changed by the Liberal government in 2008 as part of its social responsibility mandate.

"I'd like to see gas lowered to that price instead of the beer", said another man.

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.

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"We are not reducing the tax level", says Vic Fedeli... which essentially says "we are encouraging breweries to eat the cost to participate in the "challenge".

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're going to continue on doing what we are doing and the consumers will decide if our beer is the right price or not".

"These are normal business expenses for our stores and no costs will be incurred to either LCBO consumers or Ontario taxpayers", it said.

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.

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Ford's buck-a-beer plan likely to cost LCBO revenue