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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label Hanwell/submission
Date Aired or Published Feb. 28, 2013, March 13, 2013
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Daily Gleaner
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Fredericton, N.B.
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This fascinating story involving booze, lots of money, and allegations of patronage began early in 2013 when a local citizens group complained that NB Liquor selected a Moncton company over an existing local company for a new agency store on the Hanwell Road on the outskirts of Fredericton. The Concerned Citizens of Hanwell said NB Liquor didn’t follow its own criteria for picking a company to run an agency story. I immediately began investigating and interviewed Daniel Allain, head of NB Liquor – and Tory loyalist and co-chairman of the campaign team that led Premier David Alward to a 2010 election victory; Jason Lutes of Power Plus technology in Moncton, who is distantly related to another Moncton Tory insider; and Chris Scholten, the Fredericton businessman who made the local application on behalf of Scholtens Hanwell and Hanwell Village Mart, which has served the community for 20 years. NB Liquor’s own rules say agency stories should be operated by local companies, along with other criteria that seems to favour Scholten. The company that evaluated the two bids handled Tory advertising during the last election campaign. There are suspicious political fingerprints all over this controversial decision. The three stories I have submitted give the points of view of each party involved, and the articles with Scholten given an unprecedented look inside the application process and clearly explains in detail the problems with the entire procedure. The controversy ended up in a court battle last summer and concluded in September with Court of Queens Bench Justice Paulette Garnett reserving her decision.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

This was a clear example of good old-fashioned digging. I used my phone, recorder, computer. I wasn't given a lot of time because we were worried competitors would also be looking into the story.

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