A Nigerian-Canadian, Kaycee Madu, formerly Alberta’s justice minister, has now been moved to the ministry of labour and immigration following a traffic violation controversy that happened in 2021.
Mr Madu will now lead “important reforms to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Programme” as labour minister, but has been replaced as justice minister and solicitor general by Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s premier Jason Kenney announced Friday in a statement.
Despite being exonerated by a report from an investigation panel, Mr Kenney said it would be appropriate for Mr Madu to step aside from the justice ministry position.
“The report concludes that Minister Madu did not interfere in the administration of justice but that the phone call could create a reasonable perception of interference,” the premier said.
“It is clear from the report that his motivation in making the call was not to reverse the ticket but to raise broader concerns, particularly related to racial profiling. Nevertheless, as Ms. Kent concludes, ‘being angry, wanting assurances that he was not racially profiled are all understandable reactions, given the context of the phone call. It does not absolve the Minister from responsibility, but it is an explanation that deserves recognition.”
“Given her findings, and the unique role of the office of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, I have concluded that it would be appropriate for Minister Madu to step aside from that position.”
According to Mr Kenney, Mr Madu’s replacement is an experienced lawyer who has served on the National Parole Board, the Municipal Government Board, the Criminal Injuries Review Board, the University of Calgary Senate, the Calgary Parking Authority and the Calgary Police Commission.
“I also look forward to Minister Madu’s continued contribution to important work of government as Minister of Labour and Immigration, where he will lead important reforms to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Programme and continued implementation of the Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan to help break down barriers to the economic success of immigrants. He will help to deliver on the Alberta Work Initiative, a key part of Budget 2022’s plan to connect unemployed Albertans with available jobs through expanded training programmes,” he added.
The report was received on February 15 by the clerk of the executive council.
In March 2021, Mr Madu was pulled over and fined $300 for being on his cellphone in a school zone, CBC News reports.
Mr Madu phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, and discussed the violation with him.
“Minister Madu did contact me via the telephone concerned about a ticket. But just to be very, very clear, he never asked to get out of the ticket,” Mr McFee told CBC News in December, adding that he did not know exactly what was on the ticket.
Newsmen reported how Mr Madu was asked to step back from his ministerial duties until an investigation was completed.