Ontario government scraps beer tax rise planned by Liberals

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Beer products on display at a Toronto beer store. Photo/Courtesy

The Ontario government plans to cancel a scheduled increase in the provincial beer tax that was set to go into effect on November 1.

The Progressive Conservatives say the three-cent-per-litre increase was planned by the previous Liberal regime and will be scrapped.

The government says beer taxes have increased by three cents per litre each year since 2015.

It says it’s stopping the increase that was set to go into effect next month as it reviews the province’s approach to beer and wine sales, including the possible expansion of sales into corner and big box stores.

The move to cancel the beer tax increase comes after the government brought back so-called buck-a-beer to the province this summer.

The policy lowers the minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from $1.25. Brewers are not required to charge less and the minimum price doesn’t apply to draft beer, nor does it include the bottle deposit.

Beer and wine taxes brought in revenues of roughly $589 million in 2016-2017.

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