A Fredericton-area convenience store owner is taking NB Liquor to court to find out why a Moncton company received an agency liquor store in Hanwell.

NB Liquor’s decision to award Moncton’s Power Plus Technology the contract to build an agency store next to the Trans-Canada Highway, near Hanwell, has sparked a local controversy.

The decision has been the focus of public meetings and a petition.

Now Chris Scholten said he is preparing to take the fight to another level to find out why the two local companies lost out to the Moncton business.

Scholten said the only way to receive a fair and independent review of NB Liquor’s decision is to head to court.


Chris Scholten is one of two Hanwell businessowners who lost their bids to set up a NB Liquor agency store in the Fredericton-area community. (CBC)

"I’m just looking for a fair, independent review of the decision process to ensure that the right process was followed, following the guidelines and the request for proposal to which we applied," he said.

Daniel Allain, the president of NB Liquor, said in February the Crown corporation formed an internal agency store task force to review the expansion of the agency store network.

At the time, Allain said the decision to create the task force was intended to guarantee an "open and transparent process."

NB Liquor did not comment on Monday as the  Hanwell decision is now heading to court.

But Scholten said NB Liquor has not been open with him on how the decision was made.

"Unfortunately we’ve just been hit with roadblock after roadblock. We are just being ignored quite frankly," he said.

Scholten asked the ombudsman's office to investigate.

The office has agreed to review the file but Scholten said he's heard nothing from the independent office so far.

But Scholten’s lawyer did hear from NB Liquor late on Monday afternoon.

The agency received documentation that had been requested a month ago under the province’s Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Scholten said he will look through the information with his lawyer but he still plans to take legal action.