By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter-Taber Times
Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter was the associate minister of Red Tape Reduction for just over two years, with his appointment April 30, 2019. This was changed in the most recent cabinet shuffle of the United Conservative Party.
These last two years were extremely successful for Hunter and his team, and as stated by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, the provincial government has made nearly 120,000 reductions in job-killing red tape. This is 17 per cent out of the government’s roughly 33 per cent goal.
“I have no doubt we will meet this goal by the end of the term, and I’m sure Tanya Fir will do an amazing job,” Hunter said.
“We saved Albertans roughly $476 million in compliance costs in the first year,” Hunter added.
“The stats aren’t out for the second, but we are on track to save nearly $1.5 billion. This is all money that can be spent on other initiatives for business owners.”
Hunter also stressed in order to reduce red tape, “We don’t have to reduce or sacrifice the safety of Albertans or our environment.”
“B.C. has reduced their red tape by 49 per cent and they still have some of the best environmental and workplace safety regulations.”
Red tape is a term used for over-regulation.
So, if a 20-page document can be reduced to five pages and still be the exact same, that’s unnecessary red tape.
Hunter stressed he didn’t lose the position due to any reason, and it’s common for cabinet shuffles such as this to happen around the midway point.
“You can’t always be a minister, it has to be shared and I’m sure the premier will have me do other things. I also get to spend more time in my riding, which is a plus. I was just privileged to share my talents and privileged to hold the position. I was passionate, and still feel very passionate about the role.”
He also stated while he is no longer in cabinet, some things may be different in the Taber-Warner area, but he is confident Fir will do an excellent job.
Hunter also mentioned the planned expansion of the Chin Reservoir taking place will be a $137 million expansion that will open up more lanes for irrigation and aid the agricultural district immensely.
In other moves, Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow also saw a change to his position.
Originally selected as the deputy government whip, Schow’s new position becomes the deputy government House leader.
His new position will see Schow work with the premier and ministers to get their bills introduced into the chamber and into the parliamentary process.
Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, now becomes the new government whip.