FREDERICTON (CNB) – A document entitled 2011 Report to Cabinet: A Strategic Review of Alcool NB Liquor was released today by Daniel Allain, president and chief executive officer of NB Liquor.

"In short, it is not our focus or our intent to privatize NB Liquor at this time,” said Allain. “However, more private-sector involvement in the asset is required. To make NB Liquor the most efficient and profitable asset in the province, we have to change the way we do business. A transition to a more entrepreneurial form of governance is necessary and will benefit NB Liquor’s valuation for future opportunities."

In October 2010, Premier David Alward mandated Allain and the corporation’s board of directors to review how the Crown agency delivers service to New Brunswickers.

The review was to include opportunities to strengthen new retail strategies; increase revenue and profits; and determine new ways to improve the culture and governance of the corporation. The report outlines two recommendations and identifies specific opportunities to meet this mandate:

Recommendation 1: Opportunities identified in current operations (next 18 to 36 months).

●    Improve the overall customer experience.
●    Expand and restructure the retail network.
●    Invest in technology systems to improve the efficiency and security of NB Liquor.
●    Explore cost reductions, internal opportunities and pricing strategies to increase contributions to the provincial government.
●    Review the governance structure of NB Liquor and drive the transformation to a high performance culture with focus on long-term returns on investment.
●    Pursue changes to the legislative environment and improve relationships with other provincial government departments.

Recommendation 2: Explore opportunities to partner with third parties (further study is required).

●    Explore strategic alliances (regional co-operation) with other liquor boards.
●    Explore monetization while maintaining the provincial government's ownership of NB Liquor.

NB Liquor will pursue Recommendation 1 in the short to medium term. At the same time, it will perform further research and investigation regarding opportunities related to third parties, as mentioned in Recommendation 2.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs, the minister responsible for NB Liquor, made a commitment to respond quickly to the recommendations that address the specific mandate of the report.

Along with a series of stakeholder consultations with licensees, agents, suppliers, brewers and employees, the Department of Finance collected feedback online asking New Brunswickers for their view on the sale of public assets.

"I am proud to say that this is the first strategic review of NB Liquor made public in the 35-year history of this important government asset," said Allain.

The report, which is online, was co-authored by Rick Smith, senior vice-president and secretary of the board of directors.


●    NB Liquor: