Unveiling of provincial buck a beer scheme expected today

Pumping up the volume Doug Ford has reignited debate around 'price gouging' by fuel

Pumping up the volume Doug Ford has reignited debate around 'price gouging' by fuel

A Toronto beer store is pictured on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

Ontario launched its buck-a-beer plan Tuesday by offering "non-financial incentives" to brewers who sell their beer for $1, prompting critics to question the Progressive Conservative government's priorities and accuse the province of trying to deflect scrutiny on key issues such as education and the environment.

"We were elected on a promise to reduce red tape and put the people first", said Premier Doug Ford, who made the announcement while visiting the Barley Days Brewery.

Beer fans across Ontario can officially start counting down the days until the return of "Buck-a-Beer", the popular $1-per-beer price floor that delighted people across Ontario until it was cancelled when the previous government abruptly introduced new beer price regulations.

If you're looking for a cheap brew in Ford's "buck-a-beer" era, head to Prince Edward County, Ont. Once upon a time you could buy a beer for $1 a bottle.

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

The Premier criticized the former Liberal government for increasing the price a decade ago by 25 cents. "This included a promise to bring "Buck-a-Beer" back to Ontario". "I think people in Ontario are mature enough to know when they've had one too many", he said. He has also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario. The price floor will affect beer that contains an alcohol percentage below 5.6%. The new price will not be indexed to inflation.

It will offer breweries who lower their prices promotional considerations like limited-time discounts, in-store displays or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts. Napanee Beer Company tweeted that it won't participate in this: "There are a lot of things that our province needs", they said, "but "buck a beer" isn't one of them".

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

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