Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 9, 2018
Buck a beer is back, but Doug Ford’s plan for cheaper suds is falling flat with some brewers
Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed this morning that he would introduce legislation to lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from $1.25 ahead of the Labour Day weekend.
At a news conference Tuesday in Prince Edward County, Ford said the Progressive Conservative government will approve the buck-a-beer plan by Aug. 27. The minimum price of a beer was raised by the Liberals 10 years ago.
But the PC’s move fell flat with some craft brewers who feared the initiative would hurt their business by asking them to eat the costs associated with lowering prices.
“We firmly believe that you really do get what you pay for,” The People’s Pint, a brewery in Toronto’s west end, said on Twitter.
Buck a beer only applies to brews under 5.6 per cent alcohol content and participation is not mandatory, said Ford.
“Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts,” he told reporters at Barley Days Brewery in Picton, Ont., around 200 kilometres east of Toronto.
Finance Minister Vic Fideli noted the legislation will “reduce the floor” on beer sales and give brewers permission to sell their cans and bottles for $1 — pricing that has been illegal for a decade.
He added the PCs are offering “non-financial incentives” in the form of “buck-a-beer challenge” to encourage Ontario’s 260 brewers to drop prices. (Source: CBC)