Andy Brandt

Andy Brandt

Andrew S. (Andy) Brandt (born June 11, 1938 in London, Ontario) is a former politician and public administrator in Ontario, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Progressive Conservative from 1981 to 1990, and was a cabinet minister in the governments of Bill Davis and Frank Miller. He later served as interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party from 1987 to 1990.

Brandt was educated at the University of Waterloo, and was a businessman before entering political life. He ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1972 federal election as a Progressive Conservative, but lost to Liberal Bud Cullen by 1,465 votes in Sarnia—Lambton. Brandt served as an alderman in Sarnia from 1971 to 1974, and as mayor of the city from 1975 to 1980.

He first ran for the Ontario legislature in the 1977 provincial election, but lost to Liberal Paul Blundy by 257 votes in Sarnia. He ran again in the 1981 election and defeated Blundy by 3,029 votes, as the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government under Bill Davis. After serving as a parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Labour, Brandt was promoted to cabinet on July 6, 1983 as Minister of the Environment.

Brandt was originally neutral in the Progressive Conservative Party's 1985 leadership convention, but surprised delegates by endorsing Frank Miller from the convention podium. When Miller became Premier of Ontario on February 8, 1985, he appointed Brandt as his Minister of Industry and Trade. Following this promotion, Brandt was easily returned in the 1985 provincial election. The Progressive Conservatives were reduced to a minority government, however, and soon lost a vote of confidence in the legislature. In opposition, Brandt served as his party's critic for Environment and Industry.

The 1987 provincial election proved disastrous for the Progressive Conservative Party, which was reduced to only sixteen seats out of 130 in the legislature. Party leader Larry Grossman was defeated in his own riding. Brandt, who defeated Liberal Joan Link-Mellon by 2,601 votes, was selected as interim leader on November 3, 1987, and held the position until Mike Harris was chosen as full-time leader on May 12, 1990. Brandt did not run in the 1990 election.

In 1991, he was appointed chairman and CEO of the LCBO, the agency that owns and operates Ontario's publicly owned liquor stores. Brandt was appointed five times to the position, twice by Premier Rae (NDP) twice by Premier Harris (PC) and once by Premier Eves (PC). Andrew S. Brandt retired from the LCBO February 5, 2006 and remains the longest serving Chair and CEO in LCBO history. He has been successful in modernizing the LCBO's operations as well as convincing the provincial government not to privatize the service. He was accused of accepting inappropriate luxury trips in 1999, but was defended in the legislature and was soon after reappointed to a fourth term as Chair and CEO. Brandt's management of the LCBO has won praise from across the political spectrum.

In 2000, Brandt supported Stockwell Day for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance on the second ballot of the newly-formed party's leadership contest ("Regina Leader Post", 28 June 2000).

Brandt retired as LCBO chairman on February 5, 2006 after fifteen years at the helm of the crown corporation. During his time in the position, annual sales went from $1.8 billion in 1991 to a projected $3.6 billion in 2006 ("Toronto Star", 14 January 2006 [http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1137193811991] ).


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