By Trevor Busch
Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Agrifood Development, reporting to the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation.
Parliamentary Secretaries play an important role in assisting Ministers in their work and help achieve the government’s commitments by working with Albertans and partner organizations and businesses.
“I was grateful for that appointment. It helps me do the work on the agri-food processing corridor,” said Hunter, referencing development along Highway 3. “And it will provide me with direct access to agriculture, and irrigation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. I will be working directly under Minister (RJ) Sigurdson in that ministry, and then there will also be resources that I will have available to me as well, that I wouldn’t have as a private member. So I was excited to see that.”
Hunter was first elected in 2015 in Cardston-Taber-Warner, originally with the Wildrose, and was re-elected to the role in the 2019 and 2023 elections as a member of the United Conservative Party for Taber-Warner.
“I’m so pleased these members have agreed to take on duties in addition to their regular MLA responsibilities,” said Premier Danielle Smith in a statement. “The work they will do is vital to ensuring that we can make real progress on initiatives in these ministries. Together, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries will continue working to keep Alberta the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Hunter also previously served as Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction for the UCP from April 30, 2019 to July 7, 2021. In the recent 2023 election in Taber-Warner, he took in 75.3 per cent of the vote in the riding, down slightly from 78.1 per cent in 2019.
“Alberta, and southern Alberta in particular, is turning into a super cluster of agri-food processors,” said Hunter in a statement. “We have already seen large investment into this province, such as McCains’ $600 million investment, the largest in their history. This is only the start to a wave of large-scale investment into this province. Southern Alberta is turning into a world class center for agri-food processing. Developing Alberta’s agriculture sector alongside Minister Sigurdson, I look forward to growing Alberta’s agri-food industry, and building the Alberta Advantage.”
The new role fits with the promotion of Hunter’s vision for the region through the further development of a robust agri-food processing sector straddling southern Alberta.
“I had recommended that I have something like that, and in terms of helping me to be able to do the work that I’m doing on that agri-food processing quarter. So happy to see that come about. We’ve got so many things going on in the government right now that you just didn’t know when that was going to happen. So I’ve known about it for a bit but was excited to see it happen.”