TORONTO — The Ontario government says it will cancel a scheduled increase in the provincial beer tax that was set to kick in next month.
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 Nov. 1 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 government could not immediately say how much tax revenue it will forgo by halting the tax increase.
Beer and wine taxes brought in revenues of roughly $589 million in 2016-2017.
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.
Businesses were offered prime spots in Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores and advertising in the store magazine's inserts, among other possible incentives for selling their beer for $1.
Two breweries, Cool Brewery in Toronto and Barley Days Brewery in Picton, Ont., have said they will offer lower-priced brews, while Loblaws offered its President's Choice beer for one dollar a bottle for a limited time.