Newsmaker of the day: Dennis Oland

Son to face trial for second-degree murder of his father, Richard Oland

Andrew Vaughan/CP

Andrew Vaughan/CP

Newsmaker of the day: Dennis Oland

Dennis Oland will go to trial for the second-degree murder of his father.

Richard Oland, whose family owns Moosehead Brewery Ltd., was found dead in his office in Saint John, N.B., in July 2011. Police arrested Richard’s only son, Dennis, 46, more than two years after the murder.

No sooner had Judge Ronald LeBlanc issued his decree did Oland’s family publish a news release proclaiming Dennis Oland’s innocence. “We know that Dennis is innocent. Throughout this ordeal, our faith in him continues to be absolutely unwavering. We are devastated that we will have to endure a trial, but we know Dennis will be found innocent in an objective and fair process in a court of law,” it reads. The release is signed by Richard Oland’s widow, Connie, and other members of the family.

The Oland family is one of the more prominent old-money dynasties in Atlantic Canada. Moosehead is the largest independent brewery in the country, and has been under the management of the Oland family for six generations.

Richard Oland, a recipient of the Order of Canada in 1998, had left the family business in the early ’80s after a power struggle with his brother, Derek. A dedicated fisherman and a passionate sailor, he was also known for being a tough businessman—he ran a successful trucking concern, among other companies—and for the often tenuous relationships with his wife and children.

Dennis Oland, who has been on bail since his arrest roughly one year ago, is expected back in court on Feb. 2 to enter a plea.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.