Beer Prices


Ontario’s beer prices are already amongst the lowest in Canada. Only Quebec prices are lower - because they have significantly lower beer taxes.

A June 2013 Ipsos Reid survey collected beer prices from 90 different privately operated retail locations in Quebec, B.C. and Alberta.

The Results?

 British Columbia

British Columbia beer prices were 45% - 51% higher than Ontario’s.


Alberta beer prices were 30% - 36% higher than Ontario’s.


In Quebec, where provincial beer taxes on a case of 24 cans are less than ½ the Ontario beer taxes, prices were almost equal.

This survey clearly demonstrates that Ontario beer drinkers benefit from low, competitive prices under the current alcohol retail and distribution system. Implementing the Quebec, B.C. or Alberta retail systems in Ontario will drive beer prices higher.

“The price survey we conducted demonstrates that in other provinces where these models exist, prices tend to be much higher than Ontario.”
John Wright
Senior Vice President at Ipsos Reid

View the detailed study results »

Ontario’s retail system:
great value for alcohol consumers

Percentage change: Alcohol prices (purchased at retail) 2002 - 2012

 Great Value for Alcohol Consumers

Privatization of retail liquor sales in Alberta and B.C. has driven consumer prices significantly higher. B.C. liquor prices have increased twice as much as Ontario’s and Alberta prices nearly four times as much.
Source: Statistics Canada Table 326-0021

Independent Studies show...

Greatly increasing the number of retail locations increases inefficiencies and overall system cost, meaning higher prices and less selection of products.
But don’t just take our word for it:

In 2006, the Consumers Association of Canada found that in B.C., “…government's privatization of liquor sales has forced consumers to pay millions of dollars more for beer, wine and liquor.” The report also found that “…there has been a massive proliferation of private liquor stores across the province" and “…less product selection at individual liquor stores."

British Columbia's Liquor Distribution System: "Does it work for consumers?"
Consumers Association of Canada (B.C.), 2006

This 2012 report compared the price of thirteen common liquor products in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prices in government liquor stores in B.C. and Saskatchewan were compared with prices in private liquor retailers in Alberta and B.C. The conclusion?

“Ultimately, in contrast to the opining of its advocates, privatization in Alberta and British Columbia has led to higher prices in those provinces’ private liquor stores, indicating a loss of economic efficiency.”

“Impaired Judgment: The Economic and Social Consequences of Liquor Privatization in Western Canada”
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (2012)