Ontario brewers that offer buck-a-beer may get LCBO incentives

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Brewers are not required to charge the lower rate and few in the province sell at the current minimum.

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

Barley Days Brewery - one of the first breweries to open in Prince Edward County - has noted they plan to release a $1 beer created specifically for that price point.

Asked whether he was concerned that cheaper beer might contribute to substance abuse and other harms, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make smart choices when it comes to alcohol, regardless of the lower price. "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", NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said, referring to the Tories' plan to wind down a basic income pilot project.

The minimum retail price for beer was $1 in Ontario between 2005 and 2008, before the government banned it in 2008.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly", said Ford in a statement issued Tuesday.

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

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"The impact extends beyond the price of a beer".

In hopes of getting brewers on board with cheaper beer, Ford announced he is offering incentives to brewing companies.

Buck-a-beer is here. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.

Ford says the buck a beer will allow for more competition in the market.

The Premier did not comment on Tuesday on his larger campaign plan to allow for the wider sale of alcohol in Ontario, including expanding beer and wine sales to corner stores and big box stores. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price".

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