Charmaine de Silva | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Rich Coleman is calling some of the inferences being made about his connections to the Liquor Distribution Branch privatization process "ridiculous."
Coleman insists at the time he didn't know the names of companies bidding on the lucrative, 10-year contract
"I didn't say that I didn't know anybody...I didn't know the bidders at the time because obviously that was a process that was arms length from me, and was being handled arms length from me. And because I had the liquor file over the years it was felt I would stay as far away and arms length as it was."
But now that he's seen the short-list of six companies, he admits he has met with some of them.
"You do do business and meet with people and listen to them as a minister, but that doesn't mean that they have any...that there's anything...anything more than that. You're just doing your job."
Coleman says he's had the liquor file for around 7 of the past 12 years and that's why he's staying even further away from the privatization process.
He thinks there are some people trying to connect dots that just aren't there.
Freedom of information documents obtained by the NDP last week indicate the government's plan to privatize the LDB is driven solely by well-connected lobbyists.