The owner of a convenience store in Hanwell is calling for an independent review of how NB Liquor handled the awarding of an agency store franchise in the community, located near Fredericton.
Chris Scholten, of Scholten’s Convenience Store, says there are still too many unanswered questions about NB Liquor's original decision to award the contract to Moncton-based Power Plus Technology Inc.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge recently quashed the decision after Scholten, whose bid for the agency store had been rejected, sought a judicial review.
Justice Paulette Garnett ruled in May NB Liquor's review procedure for those contesting a decision is "inadequate and unfair."
Earlier this month, NB Liquor CEO Brian Harriman told CBC News a new request for proposals is in the works and he hopes a new contract for a Hanwell agency store will be awarded by late this summer.
But Scholten wants a full review of what happened before NB Liquor proceeds. He has sent a letter to Harriman, urging him to order an independent review.
“Even after 16 months of litigation, we still don’t have all the information as to how this went as wrong as it did. The people of this community still have more questions than answers about this," he said in a statement on Thursday.
“In the interest of fairness, I think it is best at this point to wait to find out what an independent review reveals,” Scholten said. “I think the whole process has called the credibility of NB Liquor into question, certainly in this community. That has to be repaired I think before we can proceed here.”
Scholten is questioning the "conduct" of NB Liquor, its former president Daniel Allain, and Hudson Creative Design of Moncton, the company contracted by the Crown corporation to help choose the winning bidder.
“An independent review of this matter can ensure the same mistakes are not made again,” he said. “We don’t want to end up in the same place again, 18 months from now."