Cheaper beer arrives in Canada’s most populous province
It’s here, cheaper beer! It was a campaign promise during the recent provincial election in Ontario, and now the recently elected Premier Doug Ford has made it a reality.
Alcohol sales and minimum prices are provincially controlled and Ford had promised to lower the minimum price that can be charged for a standard bottle or tin of beer to $1.00. The minimum had been set at $1.25 by the previous Liberal government some ten years ago.
Premier Ford’s Progressive Conservative government passed the bill lowering the minimum price which comes into effect today.
The new lower price will not affect draught beer, and breweries are not required to participate.
Ford said the policy will increase competition in the beer market while not having a negative effect on alcohol sales revenue for the province which amounts to over $500-million a year.
Encourage excess drinking?
The new price comes in time for the last long weekend holiday of summer the “labour day weekend” September 1-3, and also with the start of the new school session for most universities and colleges.
Critics say the policy will only encourage excess drinking, while several breweries, especially craft brewers, saying they can’t afford to brew quality beer to sell at the lowered price and so won’t participate.