N.B. names new liquor chief to rework ANBL role

New Brunswick’s new provincial government is moving ahead on plans to restructure the province’s Crown liquor corporation.

Premier David Alward on Thursday named Daniel Allain as the new president and CEO of Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL), the corporation responsible for purchase, import, distribution and retail sale for all beverage alcohol in the province.

Alward, whose Tories swept out Shawn Graham’s Liberal government in the Sept. 27 provincial election, said Allain “will have a specific mandate to examine how the corporation is run and find innovative and practical ways to make it a more efficient organization and profitable asset for the people of this province.”

Allain and ANBL’s board “will be tasked with reviewing the way NB Liquor does business.” the province said Thursday.

Their specific mandate, the province said, will be to “strengthen retail strategies, increase revenues and determine ways to change the culture and governance of the corporation.”

ANBL’s board has been asked to draft a plan of action to present to the new cabinet by the fall of 2011.

ANBL runs the province’s network of 48 retail liquor outlets and 70 private agency store outlets.

Since it was created from the former New Brunswick Liquor Control Commission in 1976, ANBL has introduced brew pubs, microbreweries and an “agriculture-based” cottage wine sector, all of which work with ANBL for distribution.

Its total product portfolio includes almost 2,000 products, just over half of which are wines, followed by spirits (29 per cent), beers (15 per cent) and ready-to-drink products such as coolers (four per cent).

Allain, as CEO, will be one of a seven-member board of government appointees overseeing the Fredericton-based corporation.

He worked for the past five years as executive director of Downtown Moncton Centre-ville and previously for Business New Brunswick, on international business development and the provincial nominee immigration program.

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