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Premier Ford in the County to announce ‘buck a beer’ is back Aug. 27

Barley Days Brewery general manager Kyle Baldwin with Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services Tuesday morning at the Loyalist Parkway brewery. – Sue Capon photos

Beer for a buck will be available by the end of this month and brewers will be given incentives to drop their prices.

Premier Doug Ford announced the return of ‘Buck a Beer’ Tuesday morning at Barley Days Brewery on Loyalist Parkway, with Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Government House Leader; and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance.

Some protesters lined up on the highway and filled the entrance to the brewery shouting “shame on you” and carried placards on multiple issues they believe demand more attention than beer – such a poverty, sex education and climate change. There was also a crowd there to thank Smith and Ford for the cancellation of the wpd industrial wind turbine project.

Inside, the premier said it was “a promise made, a promise kept” on the program announced during the spring election campaign. “The day you have been waiting for is finally here – we’re bringing back a buck a beer to Ontario… Once upon a time you could buy a beer for $1 a bottle. Consumers loved it, participating brewers loved it; it was a win-win,” Ford said.

He blamed the former Liberal government for increasing the price in a social responsibilty campaign in 2008.

“They passed a new rule that raised the minimum beer price; another piece of red tape that made a buck a beer illegal,” said Ford. “The day of the government putting its hand in your pocket each time you buy a two-four or six-pack is over.”

Questioned about increased substance abuse, Ford stated he trusts Ontario consumers to make smart choices when it comes to alcohol, regardless of price.

“I think people in Ontario are mature enough to know when they’ve had one too many… I have all the confidence that the people of Ontario can be responsible beer drinkers… We’re just trying to put money back in the consumer’s pocket.”

Ford said nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts. The program goes into effect Aug. 27.

“Instead, we are launching the Buck a Beer Challenge. We are putting the challenge out there for every brewer big and small that’s all 260 brewers in Ontario – bring your price down to a dollar in time for Aug. 27. Those that get there first will be recognized throughout the year.”

Participating businesses will be offered incentives such as prime selling locations in LCBO stores and advertising in the store magazine.

Finance minister Vic Fedelli said there are no tax dollars being reduced to allow for the buck a beer.

Kyle Baldwin with the concept Loon Lager

“The tax portion of the beer is not being reduced. The premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price.”

Brewers are not required to charge less and the lower minimum price does not apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars, or include the bottle deposit. The minimum price at $1, from the current $1.25 applies to beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent.

Barley Days is already in the planning stages for the Buck a Beer Challenge with a new ‘Loon Lager’.

“We decided to take up the challenge,” said Kyle Baldwin, General Manager. “We think we can make it happen. So we’re going to find out on Aug. 27 on how the economics work out. Loon Lager is our concept in a 355ml can.”

Protesters outside Barley Days Brewery make their views known as politicians left.

Outside, the protesters had placards waving as the politicians were leaving the media event, they were bombarded with shouts of “shame on you”.

There were also those in the crowd of about 75 people who were there to congratulate Smith on the cancellation of the wpd industrial wind turbine project.

“The majority were Todd Smith supporters who attended to show appreciation for his success in getting White Pines cancelled,” said Gary Mooney. “There was a big cheer and lots of applause when he came out briefly to greet the crowd.”

Sarah Burn

“Education and social services programs are much more important than cheap beer, said Sarah Burn, who learned about the protest on Facebook. “I’m happy I was able to express myself. I hope that they see we have better priorities than buck a beer.”

“We held the space pretty good,” said Christine Renaud. “We gave them a hard time getting out. They knew they were not welcome. That was my favourite part… We have to have each other’s back and take care of each other.”

Renaud called the buck a beer a diversion from important issues like relieving poverty and progressive education.

“I really think Ford is insulting his base of good, working-class people who he is thinking care more about buck a beer than they are about their families, and doing well. The beer minimum was only $1.25. The whole idea is ridiculous.”

“I’m happy about buck a beer,” said a person in the crowd who declined to be identified.

A handful of people concerned about the cancellation of industrial wind turbines in the County and other energy projects also protested across the road.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    I find it amusing that the person who is responsible for questioning the medias’ coverage of the numbers and who rose to the defence of Doug Ford and Todd Smith supporters has remained silent since first being challenged. Those who have picked up his dropped torch are now left to defend his vacated position. Fortunately, I do not feel the slightest urge to follow in their footsteps.

  2. Henri Garand says:

    My first response on this topic was triggered by the irrelevant argument that the PCs represent only 40% of the electorate. As another writer has pointed out, it’s typical in Canadian elections for a party to win with less than 50% of the popular vote. If proportional representation (PR) had been used in the Ontario June election, the PCs would still have won, but with a minority. In other words, the PCs would still be in power.

    Would PR have led to a positive outcome? It depends on whether you expect governments to debate or act. In the County and probably elsewhere in Ontario the green energy scam would have continued.

    Is Canada’s system perfect? Of course not! But neither is sharing power with those who will simply obstruct government because it does not reflect their own ideological or party positions. Canadian minority governments have repeatedly demonstrated the problem.

    No doubt there are people in Britain who envy countries with a PR system, but the Guardian article does not identify any concrete plans for change. It’s also completely wrong to assert that parliamentary democracy originated with the Greeks. Sources from Encyclopedia Britannica to Wikipedia state that modern parliamentary democracy started in the eighteenth century in Britain and Sweden. The British system has been the most influential model. These are the facts.

  3. Chuck says:

    Our system is way better than having far left wing radicals gaining seats and racking up extreme debt and blocking centrist legislation.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Just to summarize and to add clarity….

    My original comment relating to questioning numbers was in response to a previous writer who tried to make the number of protesters much smaller than what the news sources indicated they were – like as if it made any difference to the reality that the protesters out-numbered the Ford supporters. My reference to the vote percentage that Ford received was to indicate that numbers do in fact misrepresent the truth. In this case, more people voted against Ford than for him – an irrefutable fact!

    Then one other writer jumps into the fray and praises the virtues of Britain as having “The Mother of all Parliaments” – as if England was the origins of democracy(which it is not) and then made claims that the “election method” of “First Past The Post” has never been an issue in Merry Old England and that proportional representation has never been discussed. Hmmmm?

    Please read the article below (from The Guardian) to read a true account from England on this issue. No one ever said that PR was perfect, but to suggest that our current voting system doesn’t have bigger problems is simply wrong.

    Enjoy the read – it is interesting.

  5. olmnonthemtn says:

    Jean Chretien on representational government:
    In a recent interview, former prime minister Jean Chretien railed against efforts to replace Canada’s current electoral system with proportional representation, calling it a way for “apparatchiks” to “enter Parliament through the back door.”

    “For all the professors who want to sit in Parliament but who can’t even get themselves elected dogcatcher, sure, it’s a good system,” the 84-year-old said in a French language interview with Le Devoir.

    “Going to the street corner, shaking hands and asking for a vote. That’s democracy.”

    Proportional representation loosely refers to any electoral system designed to more accurately reflect the popular vote.

    Under Canada’s current “first past the post” system, MPs only need to win a plurality of votes in their riding. The frequent result is that Canadian political parties need only about 40 per cent of the vote to form a majority government. In extreme cases, MPs have been able to go to Ottawa with a mere 26 per cent of their riding’s support.

    Nevertheless, Chretien cited New Zealand as a cautionary tale, saying that the country’s 1990s shift to proportional representation remains a key regret for his “friend” Jim Bolger, the country’s then-prime minister.

    “’It’s the worst mistake I ever made,’ he told me, because it brought instability to New Zealand,” Chretien said.

  6. Henri Garand says:

    Since my comments began with the issue of the Ontario popular vote, I don’t want to digress too much, but I have to correct the potted history of democracy. The Greeks did not invent representational democracy. Athenian citizens (men of property, not the poor, not women, not slaves) voted directly for each proposed initiative, including banishment of people perceived as troublesome. British parliamentary democracy developed over many centuries and became stronger once British monarchs traded power for protection from beheading. Parliamentary democracy is the model for modern governments.

    Proportional representation may be seen as an attempt to recover something of the Greek ideal of democracy, but it does not necessarily produce good governments. Consider that in modern Greece leftist coalitions have led to crippling debt and a black market economy. In Israel the influence of small ultra-right parties has furthered Jewish settlement in the West Bank and thwarted peace with the Palestinians.

    How would proportional representation have worked out in Ontario? The PCs would still hold the most seats, but like a first-past-the-post minority government, they would have to depend on NDP or Liberal support in order to pass legislation. Would the PCs have been able to halt the green energy scam?

    In Canada, most minority governments end when voter frustration with paralysis returns a single party to majority rule. The yin-yang of Canadian politics may not satisfy everyone, but it at least periodically puts an end to the governing party’s abuse of power.

    We’re lucky in Ontario to have shed Liberal misrule. The farce of “buck-a-beer” aside, the PCs are taking steps to address the problems left behind.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    Henri – sorry to disagree, but Greece is where our democratic system began, not England! If Brexit taught us anything, is just how sensitive British democracy is – which many are now questioning. Don’t hold up England as the pinnacle of freedom and democracy -they too had their moments in history where the poor remained poor, while the House of Lords got fat – and weren’t the Brits a great supporter of slavery at one time? I know, you don’t want to be reminded of that history.

    The facts are, that any country becoming democratic over the past 100 years(Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, etc..) have either chosen or changed to proportional representation – none have chosen the parliamentary system, based on “first past the post.” While I personally believe that our parliamentary system is better than what they have south of the border – it does have its problems and it needs to improve.

    While I have never wanted to promote myself as a Conservative, I have never equated being aligned with any political party with our current method of voting. I have been critical about our “first past the post” method for at leas the past 25 years or more- regardless of who I voted for. They are two separate issues.

    BTW Henri, at no time did I say that Ford nor Smith were not entitled to govern. I simply stated that they didn’t represent me and my views – which is my democratic right. AND it doesn’t matter how you count it – 40% of the vote does not represent the majority of voters. The fact they have the majority of the seats tells you there is a problem with our current system, and it needs to change.

  8. Susan says:

    Our Mayor, then once a time Mayor and now again lame duck Mayor should exit quietly.

  9. Henri Garand says:

    It’s strange, Dennis, that when the Liberals got 42.% of the 2011 popular vote and 38.7% in 2011, they remained in power and were able to continue Draconian policies like the Green Energy Act. But the PCs are faulted for governing under the same system that gave the Liberals victory and a freehand.

    As for electoral reform, I haven’t read that the United Kingdom, with its Mother of all Parliaments, is pursuing change. Perhaps the critics there have learned from the dysfunctional Italian government, which is incapacitated by its use of the popular vote and the need to form party coalitions.

    Don’t thank me for this lesson in democracy.

  10. Chuck says:

    Does TO Mayor Tory get invited everytime Premier Doug speaks in Toronto? I think not. No snub here. Doug probably saved him from looking way out of place.

  11. Anon says:

    Fred, you’re missing the point. Robert Quaiff is the MAYOR of the municipality and as Mayor deserves the courtesy of being notified of an event where the Premier is visiting. How do you think Belleville’s Mayor Christopher or Quinte West’s Mayor Harrison would react if an event was held in their municipalities and were told of it literally at the last minute via a text message?

  12. Emily says:

    Robert standing with the Premier would have been slightly strange. Someone who carried Kathleen’s agenda hanging out with Doug. Lol

  13. Fred says:

    For exactly what purpose? A photo OP or to voice his disagreement. He was the Liberal candidate when Doug announced this. Sounds like he is missing the limelight.

  14. Anon says:

    Fred, the Mayor of PEC deserves the courtesy of an invitation to an event in his municipality. Todd Smith texting him an hour before the event is bush league. Mayor Quaiff deserved a phone call from the MPP of the riding the same time the event info was released to the media.

  15. Susan says:

    Been that way forever. Get over it. Thought you liked the Turbine kill, the Green Energy Act kill, the reduction in Toronto Council size like we need here in PEC. What pleases you?

  16. Dennis Fox says:

    What is unbelievable is the inability of some to recognize that 60% of the people of Ontario voted for other parties and have virtually no representation in the legislature. First past the post is a highly ineffective way for voting choosing our government. Most modern governments are not chosen in this manner – not even new third world democracies use this method any longer. To compare us to south of the border – “Even in the United States,” tells me everything I need to know about what standard is being applied to justify the Conservative government. How low is that? The days of old colonial rule are done – thank goodness!

  17. Henri Garand says:

    Re “If people really want to count numbers – more people voted against these two [Doug Ford and Todd Smith], than for them.” What an irrelevant argument!

    In the June election, according to Wikipedia, the PCs got 40.5% of the popular vote, while the NDP had 33.6%; Liberals, 19.6%; and Greens, 4.6%. In the Quinte West Riding, according to CBC News, Todd Smith took 48% of the vote; Joanne Belanger (NDP), 31.8%; and Liberal Robert Quaiff, 14.9%.

    Given the number of parties in Canadian elections, when was the last time any elected leader had more than 50% of the popular vote?

    Even in the United States, where voters really have just two choices, those elected president have seldom in recent elections won more than a small majority of the popular vote. Only in countries like Russia or Venezuela do leaders obtain, or at least claim, massive public support. Does this legitimize their governments?

    Ford has as much right to govern as any Ontario leader elected with a majority of seats. Todd Smith, with his wide margin, can deservedly speak for the County. And the NDP, Liberals and Greens have a right to criticize even though they represent smaller percentages of the electorate.

  18. Gary says:

    Would you be more pleased if he used your tax dollars to assist in buck a beer?

  19. Fred says:

    Mayor Quaiff is already slamming the buck a beer announcement, and he wonders and is upset he didn’t get an invite. Calls it an insult.Really!! Did he want a photo OP with Dougie and ridicule the event at the same time? Things that make you go hmmmmmm!

  20. Dennis Fox says:

    Let’s try to keep the story straight – at no time during the campaign did Doug Ford say he was going to lower the breweries selling limit to a dollar from a $1.25 and then expect them to take the loss – he definitively stated that he would bring back “Buck-A-Beer!” This slight-of-hand that has everyone so excited will one day be seen for what it really is – a con job by a politician who wanted to get elected. Those who were fooled by this ploy are now claiming that he kept his promise – it is hard to admit that you were fooled.

    Only in Ontario you say – pity!

  21. Susan says:

    As if to suggest the Liberals had morals. All Doug has done is what he said he would in the campaign. Good on him.

  22. Paul Cole says:

    What’s next? Buck a Pack of cigarettes, agreed sex ed is definitely a bigger issue but the PC’s are struggling a bit with that one. Pricing does discourage abuse I just hope the Brewers have more Morals then the PC party and Ford….

  23. Tech2 says:

    Gary, it maybe the intention of Doug Ford to just lower the price of beer by setting the breweries a challenge, but with every action come consequences. MADD have expressed concern and there are studies that show the correlation between alcohol price reductions and increased consumption, especially with youth and young adults. There is a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism based in the US and they state….

    “This research, which has used a wide variety of data, generally has concluded that increases in the prices of alcoholic beverages lead to reductions in drinking and heavy drinking as well as in the consequences of alcohol use and abuse.”

    It maybe an election promise, but it might not necessarily be one that is in the best interests of Ontarians.

  24. Jack Dall says:

    Seems to me “thou doth protest too much”

    I think this has more to do with their dislike for the new premier then the cost of beer.

  25. Gary Mooney says:

    I’m amused at the extent of outrage on social media. It’s summer, it’s hot and humid, and Doug is challenging the breweries to offer cheap beer. That’s all it is.

    People should save their energies for issues like basic income and sex ed.

  26. Paul Cole says:

    Social Responsibility are you all missing the point ? Sure Ford says “I think people in Ontario are mature enough to know when they’ve had one too many… I have all the confidence that the people of Ontario can be responsible beer drinkers…” Then why do we have organizations like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).. Emily says “We have people drinking in bars everday on welfare. Nonsense” I totally disagree with that statement by the way but if Brewers do take Fords encouragement to produce cheap beer we may see more alcohol related problems across the board not just welfare recipients…

  27. Chris Keen says:

    I stand corrected! Barley Days IS going to produce a beer for a buck. That will be interesting. But this has nothing to do with taxes! Ford has lowered the bar for the potential minimum cost of a bottle of beer. So what? This costs us nothing. It’s smoke and mirrors. Do we want him to legislate the retail price of beer like some here are suggesting? If you feel you’re being gouged, don’t buy the beer. Simple. Price control is not the job of government. A certain prime minister’s father tried it and it was largely unsuccessful.

  28. Dennis Fox says:

    I suppose we will just have to wait and see if any brewery takes up the challenge and then count the days they remain in business. I hate seeing people cry in their beer.

  29. Ryan says:

    Our prices should be the same as Quebec !!!eh

  30. Emily says:

    And just maybe those that are working everyday, enjoy their beer are paying enough for social assistance. There are jobs out there, if one wants to stand on their own 2 feet. We have people drinking in bars everday on welfare. Nonsense!

  31. Colleen says:

    I was there protesting in support of keeping the current sex ed curriculum.
    I’ll lay down some facts for you. I have a job so do other protesters. We felt this was important and took time out of our busy lives to attend today.
    Next fact. Most of the people there today were protesters. There was a small group at the gate of maybe a dozen people clapping for Ford. Why aren’t people here asking why they weren’t at work!

  32. Gary says:

    There is room for price reductions. Not as easy for small craft breweries, but definitely for big corporate brewers like Coors. It is really a watered down 4% beer with little taste. As popular as it may be at $45.00 for 24 cans is crazy profit.Call it a PR ploy if you wish but Doug is on the right track on this. Consumers love beer,but so not need to be gouged.

  33. Chuck says:

    Bad time to be speaking about con jobs after 15 years of Liberal rule putting us in unimaginable debt. You need to let this government for the people have a starting chance before you condemn. Such a critic. Do you support those banner wavers today looking for a guaranteed income on your dime?

  34. Dennis Fox says:

    The point I’m trying to make is – why does Ford think he can con us? Not even the breweries are in agreement with him. It has nothing to do with it not costing anything, it has everything to do with there being nothing to announce, plus his level of dishonesty towards the public.

  35. Mark says:

    Here come the naysayers before Doug has had a chance. They miss the 350 Billion debt Kathleen. Lol. A no cost buck a beer event is a far cry from the failed multi billion dollar Green Energy Act!

  36. Chris Keen says:

    This is just so much smoke and mirrors! If brewers decide to produce beer for a buck, it’ll be available. If not, it won’t. I guarantee Barley Days won’t be selling whatever cat’s pi$$ can be produced for a buck a bottle. This has nothing to do with taxation – it’s simply a reduced minimum charge per bottle. All of this is a distraction from the fact that beyond low hanging fruit that plays to his base Ford has no platform to deal with the significant issues facing this province.

  37. Dennis Fox says:

    Overall this was a nothing event announcing nothing. A Buck-A-Beer is just a pie in the sky campaign ploy that has some here in PEC all excited. Soon reality will set in.

  38. Mark says:

    Premier Doug & Todd looked pretty pleased.They understand there are always a few left wing radicals that use these events to push for more Government expense and handouts. Overall it was a good event and positive for our County.

  39. Whatever says:

    Well Bill, we must have been at 2 different events

  40. Bill says:

    The photo does not tell the whole story so you had to be there to count. People stood in 3 groups (Sex Ed protesters with others, a small contingent of pro-WPD protesters and the largest were pro-Todd supporters). The photo of the van that drove through the crowd was a photo of all the people from all the 3 groups.

  41. Peter says:

    Did they setup a mobile liberal crying station? Like a Wambulance or a pot-O-tears? It’s like a port-A-pot!Dont forger the Kleenex!

  42. Dee says:

    I am with you Fred …in Picton today I seen 4 help wanted signs !!!

  43. Susan says:

    Why weren’t those protesters carrying signs wanting to be provided a guaranteed basic income not at work? Embarrassing.

  44. Chuck says:

    No place for an opposing Liberal. Ford has promoted the buck a beer with little or no cost to the taxpayer. Proud he chose PEC for another promise kept.

  45. Dennis Fox says:

    It is hard to find an unbiased voice in this County because of the recent wind turbines decision. Sorry, I too am happy that they met their well deserved end – not because I am a Tory (God save ne!) nor a hater of IWTs – I opposed them because of the poor planning process and lack of local input that the Liberals decideed wasn’t worthwhile. But this doesn’t make me a defender of Ford nor Smith – anything but!

    Now some want to rise up in defence of Todd Smith and Doug Ford by disputing the number of protesters. Well add one more – Me! I wish that I could have attended today’s event – Ford is not my representative nor is Todd Smith. If people really want to count numbers – more people voted against these two, than for them. I am embarrassed that Ford came to PEC to make such an announcement – what a con it is. People have seen through this charade of hand shadows. He wrongly assumed that he was in safe territory – whether he number of protesters was 60 or 75 or over 100 as 99.3 FM reported – it was a great turn out for PEC.

    In PEC, where we are fighting for healthcare, and a trying to keep schools open, plus having the highest rate of food insecurity and teenage pregnancy in the province – people get excited over this kind of “Buck-A-Beer” nonsense – and that is exactly what it is. Let’s see what Ford and Smith can do about the big problems we have here and see how much real money we can get from them.

    I still can’t believe that our own Mayor and Council were snubbed by the likes of Ford. As you know, I am not a huge fan of our municipal people, but I do know proper protocol and what good manners are.

  46. Theresa says:

    Thanks Jason. If anyone is going to tell it the way it is, it’s you. Clearly the majority of attendees were protesters and not supporters.

    Trump-truthers abound

  47. Jason Parks says:

    Sorry Gary, I count at least 75 people in my photos and I’d say 70 per cent (and that’s being conservative 😉 ) were not enthused over the Premier’s visit or the announcement.

  48. Lynda Westervelt says:

    I would like to ask the people who are doing all the protesting, where they think the money for all these social services and other things they expect government to pay for, will come from…we are billions of dollars in debt because the government overspends…If you or I overspent like they do, we would lose everything we own..we can’t keep going like that..your children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences of it all…I am not in favour of everyone having to pay for daycare for anyone….If i wanted to work when my children were young, i had to look after my own daycare and rightfully so…i did not have my children so that could whisk them off to school at 3 years children all turned out just fine…the biggest problem today is that people do not know the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ and people aren’t willing to sacrifice anything for anything…

  49. Fred says:

    For some of those non working protesters wanting more social assistance, the Wineries need workers.

  50. Gary Mooney says:

    There were not 75 protesters, in fact only about 60 people in total, and the majority were Todd Smith supporters who attended to show appreciation for his success in getting White Pines cancelled. There was a big cheer and lots of applause when he came out briefly to greet the crowd.

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