The head of NB Liquor says he hopes a new contract for an agency store in the Hanwell area outside Fredericton will be awarded by late this summer.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge recently quashed NB Liquor's original decision to award the contract to a businessman from Moncton and ruled the corporation should have allowed one of the unsuccessful applicants a review before the final decision was made.
NB Liquor met with all three original applicants on Tuesday, president and CEO Brian Harriman told CBC News.
"Whether we choose the Scholten's group, who are great operators and run really good stores, or whether we choose Power Plus, who have a beautiful new store here in Hanwell — if they weren't in the same community four kilometres apart we would be happy to have both in our program, but unfortunately in this situation we have to choose one — so ultimately someone will end up disappointed when it's all said and done," he said.
The corporation is throwing out its original request for proposals from November 2012 and coming up with a new strategy for retail growth before it issues a new request for proposals this summer, said Harriman.
Chris Scholten, the owner of Scholten's Hanwell Ltd., who had sought the judicial review after his agency store bid was rejected, has said he would reapply if NB Liquor started the whole process over again.
Scholten contends the agency store should be awarded to a local company.
NB Liquor had awarded the contract to Moncton-based Jason Lutes, of Power Plus Technology Inc.