Kaycee Madu

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Kaycee Madu
Alberta Minister of Labour and Immigration
Assumed office
February 25, 2022
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded byTyler Shandro
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta
In office
August 25, 2020 – February 25, 2022
Leave of absence
January 17, 2022 - February 25, 2022
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded byDoug Schweitzer
Succeeded byTyler Shandro
Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs
In office
April 30, 2019 – August 25, 2020
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded byShaye Anderson
Succeeded byTracy Allard
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-South West
Assumed office
April 16, 2019
Preceded byThomas Dang
Personal details
Born1973/1974 (age 48–49)[1]
Mbaise, Nigeria
Political partyUnited Conservative Party
Residence(s)Edmonton, Alberta
Occupation
  • Lawyer
  • politician

Kelechi "Kaycee" Madu ECA QC MLA (born 1974) is a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as the provincial minister of labour and immigration for Alberta since February 25, 2022. A member of the United Conservative Party (UCP), Madu has represented Edmonton-South West in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta since the 2019 provincial election. He was previously Alberta's minister of municipal affairs from 2019 to 2020, before becoming minister of justice and solicitor general of Alberta in 2020. Madu is the first Black person to serve as a provincial minister of justice in Canada.

Madu was shuffled to the labour and immigration portfolio in 2022 after a probe into a phone call he made to Edmonton's Chief of Police after receiving a traffic ticket. The probe found that Madu had not interfered in the administration of justice, but that his phone call to the chief of police created a "reasonable perception of interference".

Early life[edit]

Madu was born and raised in Southeastern Nigeria, and attended the University of Lagos graduating with a Bachelor of Laws, and being called to the bar in Nigeria.[2] He immigrated to Edmonton in 2005 with his wife Emem for her postgraduate studies at the University of Alberta.[2][3]

Madu would work for Alberta Hospital, Legal Aid Alberta and the Government of Alberta in a number of different roles.[2]

Political career[edit]

Kelechi Madu was an active member of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, organizing delegate selection meetings, and later supporting the merger of the party with the Wildrose Party in 2017.[2] Madu would volunteer and support Jason Kenney during the 2017 PC leadership election and the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership election following the merger.[2]

During the 2019 Alberta general election Madu would contest the constituency of Edmonton-South West, which was previously held by New Democratic Party MLA Thomas Dang, who chose to run in Edmonton-South following the 2017 electoral boundary redistribution. Madu would defeat four candidates capturing 10,245 votes (45%), above the next closest candidate John Archer, a former reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Brian Mason's press secretary, representing the NDP with 9,539 (42%).[4][5] Madu would be the only United Conservative Party candidate elected within the boundaries of the city of Edmonton.

Minister of Municipal Affairs[edit]

On April 30, 2019, Madu was appointed to the Executive Council of Alberta as the Minister of Municipal Affairs,[6] and held that role until August 25, 2020 when he was appointed Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

Early in his mandate, Madu wrote an op-ed published in Postmedia newspapers titled Spending by Alberta's two big cities— is unsustainable which called on municipal leaders in Calgary City Council and Edmonton City Council to lower spending and reduce taxes, claiming the cities placed an "undue burden" on residents.[7] The article was published on October 22, 2019, two days prior to the introduction of the provincial budget. Claims made in the op-ed were challenged by the Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, including that the data supplied by Canadian Federation of Independent Business significantly overestimated the 10-year growth in municipal expenditures, and did not account for inflation.[8]

During his time as Minister of Municipal Affairs, Madu was responsible for a number of controversial funding reductions to Alberta municipalities. Among those decisions, included the repealing of the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act which legislated provincial transfers to the Cities of Edmonton and Calgary;[9] reductions to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, an infrastructure financing program which was reduced cumulatively by $236-million over two years from 2020–21 to 2021–22; and reduction of the Grants in Place of Taxes program by 50%, which provides municipalities with grants which off-set the property tax requisitions for provincially owned buildings.[10] Madu oversaw the beginning of property assessment valuation changes to oil and gas infrastructure, changing from a valuation based on the replacement cost, to the depreciated value of the asset, which led to the leaders of a number of rural municipalities in Alberta speaking out. According to CTV News, municipalities in rural Alberta raised concerns that the proposed changes would "cost them millions" by reducing the property tax base by between $108-million to $291-million.[11]

Madu introduced Local Authorities Election Amendment Act, 2020 (Bill 29) to the Alberta Legislature in June 2020, which amended the legislation which outlines the rules for municipal and school board elections. The amendments to the Local Authorities Election Act removed the requirement for candidates to disclose their donors prior to election day, removed limits on spending by third-party advertisers outside the local election campaign period from May 1 to election day in October, and allowed individuals to donate up to $5,000 to as many candidates as they want during an election.[12] The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, which represents urban municipal elected officials in Alberta released a statement shortly after the introduction of Bill 29, stating the relationship between Minister Madu and the association was "Broken". Bill 29 and other policy decisions were cited as the reason for the statement by the AUMA.[13] One month following the statement, Premier Jason Kenney shuffled his Cabinet, moving Madu to Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, and promoting backbench MLA Tracy Allard to the role of Minister of Municipal Affairs.

On March 4, 2020, Kaycee Madu was designated as a Queen's Counsel by the lieutenant governor of Alberta via an Order-in-Council. Queen's Counsel is the highest honour awarded to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of law and society.

Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta[edit]

Madu was named Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta in August 2020. As the first Black person to serve in the role, as well as his work experience with the legal aid system, Madu's appointment was praised for bringing "much-needed perspective".[14]

Lethbridge police[edit]

In March 2021, CBC News reported that the Lethbridge Police Service monitored the environment minister under the previous New Democratic government, among other scandals. This prompted Madu to give an April 16 deadline to the service to "address issues of recruiting, training, oversight, discipline, transparency and communications".[15] Upon receipt of the service's submission, Madu indicated his disappointment. In January 2022, the service signed an agreement which would begin an inquiry surrounding the issues.[16]

Traffic ticket incident[edit]

On March 10, 2021, Madu was stopped by the Edmonton Police Service and issued a traffic ticket for using his cellphone while driving in a school zone. Following the incident, Madu would call Chief of Police Dale McFee, raising concerns about the context of the stop, discussing people of colour being stopped by police and tension with the Lethbridge Police Service. McFee later stated that Madu did not ask for the ticket to be rescinded.[17]

The incident was revealed on January 17, 2022 and prompted calls for Madu's resignation.[18]

Madu was placed on a leave of absence later in the day by Premier Jason Kenney pending the conclusion of a probe into his conduct. In the interim, energy minister Sonya Savage assumed his position in an acting capacity.[19]

An investigation into the matter by Alberta Court of Queen's Bench judge Adele Kent found that Madu had not interfered in the administration of justice, but that his phone call to the chief of police created a "reasonable perception of interference."[20]

Minister of Labour and Immigration[edit]

On February 25, 2022, Madu was removed from his position as justice minister and demoted to minister of labour and immigration. Tyler Shandro, former labour and immigration minister, swapped roles with Madu and took over as justice minister.[20]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Edmonton-South West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Kaycee Madu 10,254 44.99% 7.08%
New Democratic John Archer 9,539 41.85% -12.57%
Alberta Party Mo Elsalhy 2,668 11.70% 9.31%
Alberta Advantage Marilyn Burns 208 0.91%
Green Rigel Vincent 125 0.55%
Total 22,794
Rejected, spoiled and declined 118 38 6
Eligible electors / turnout 32,726 70.03% 14.73%
United Conservative gain from New Democratic Swing -11.73%
Source(s)
Source: "43 - Edmonton-South West, 2019 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Alberta. Chief Electoral Officer (2019). 2019 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer. Volume II (PDF) (Report). Vol. 2. Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 168–170. ISBN 978-1-988620-12-1. Retrieved April 7, 2021.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paige Parsons (2019-04-10). "Alberta Election 2019 riding profile: Edmonton-South West". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kaycee Madu". albertastrongandfree.ca. United Conservative Party of Alberta. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Kaycee Madu reflects on his journey to justice minister: 'Racism is real' | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  4. ^ "43 - Edmonton-South West 2019 General Election Results". Elections Alberta. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Derek Van Diest Updated: April 16, 2019. "Results: Kacyee Madu wins Edmonton-South West in tightly contested battleground". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  6. ^ "Premier Kenney appoints strong team ready to lead" (Press Release). Government of Alberta. April 30, 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  7. ^ Madu, Kaycee (October 22, 2019). "Madu: Spending by Alberta's two big cities— is unsustainable". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  8. ^ Potkins, Meghan (October 23, 2019). "Madu fires shot at city hall spending ahead of Alberta budget". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ Cook, Dustin (October 25, 2019). "Alberta Budget 2019: Cuts to Edmonton's infrastructure funding prompts emergency council meeting Friday". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  10. ^ Henderson, Jennifer (October 24, 2019). "Mixed news for municipalities in 2019 Alberta budget". St. Albert Today. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  11. ^ "'The situation is dire': Municipalities say changes to how oil and gas companies are assessed would cost them millions". CTV News. Edmonton. July 31, 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Alberta local elections bill gets mixed reaction from experts, former candidates". CBC News. June 28, 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Relationship with municipal affairs minister broken, AUMA says". CBC News. Calgary. July 23, 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Alberta MLA becomes 1st Black justice minister in Canada | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  15. ^ Grant, Meghan (March 24, 2021). "Alberta government threatens to dissolve Lethbridge police force unless chief shows reform plan in weeks". CBC News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Dryden, Joel (January 3, 2022). "Public inquiry ordered by justice minister into Lethbridge police to proceed". CBC News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Alberta justice minister fined for distracted driving, called police chief about ticket". CBC News. January 17, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Alberta justice minister phoned Edmonton police chief to discuss distracted-driving ticket: police". Edmonton. 2022-01-17. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  19. ^ "Kenney strips Alberta justice minister of duties, orders probe into call to police chief over traffic ticket | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  20. ^ a b "Alberta shuffles cabinet: Shandro moves to justice, Madu becomes immigration minister". Edmonton. 2022-02-25. Retrieved 2022-02-26.

External links[edit]

Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Doug Schweitzer Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
August 25, 2020–
Incumbent
Shaye Anderson Minister of Municipal Affairs
April 30, 2019–August 25, 2020
Tracy Allard