Ford Announces Buck-a-Beer Plan

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The Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1.00 from $1.25 starting August 27.

Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday the new minimum price for beer in the province, lowered from the $1.25 price that has been in place since 2008.

"Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts", Ford said at the event.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stressed that the amount of tax brewers pay on each unit of beer sold will remain unchanged.

In a Twitter video released on Interntional Beer Day, Friday, he said "We have 260 of the greatest brewers anywhere in the world", Ford said on his Twitter video. "I'd be shocked if you saw a lot of breweries jump on this buck-a-beer thing".

The lower minimum price will not apply to draft beer and won't include the bottle deposit.

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Calling it a "challenge to breweries", what Ford did Tuesday was more symbolic than it was an edict - in essence trying to cut out red tape and regulations and phony punitive consumption discouragements while giving the beer drinker a break too. In a statement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said lowering the price of beer carries a risk to public safety, and can lead to an increase in alcohol-related problems including impaired driving. He says any brewers that agree to lower their prices will be given LCBO promotional considerations such as "limited-time discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts".

"There are no financial incentives - the tax portion of the beer is not being reduced".

"We're going to allow price competition for beer and this will save consumers money". "But instead of a climate plan or help for people living in poverty, it's a cheap beer challenge".

The current minimum price will drop from $1.25 to $1, according to the Premier.

"You definitely won't see #FreshGLB take part in this", it tweeted. "I don't know if his plan was to make the breweries look greedy or just to underscore his populist direction, but it is ridiculous", he said, adding the move ignores the shift towards more complex and well-crafted beer. Angry residents created the hashtag #boycottbuckabeer which urged consumers to avoid buying beer at any brewer offering beer for $1 a bottle. "We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair".

Breweries in the province have also been outspoken against the challenge.

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