UPDATED: Ontario to offer incentives to brewers in buck-a-beer plan

The Ontario government says it will offer "non-financial incentives" to brewers who sell their beer for $1 once the province's buck-a-beer plan is in place later this month.

Premier Doug Ford says participating businesses will be offered prime spots in Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores or advertising in the store magazine's inserts, among other possible rewards.

Speaking at a brewery in Picton, Ont., on Tuesday, the premier said the program, which was one of his promises during the spring election campaign, will not cost taxpayers anything.

The Progressive Conservative plan will lower the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from $1.25 starting Aug. 27 -- a few days before the Labour Day weekend.

Brewers would not be required to charge less, however, and the lower minimum price would not apply to draft beer, nor would it include the bottle deposit.

The Tories have said a return to buck a beer would see more competition in the beer market without affecting the province's revenues from beer and wine taxes, which government documents show brought in roughly $589 million in 2016-2017.

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

Ford has also vowed to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner and box stores in Ontario.