Suspended Nigerian-Born Justice Minister and Solicitor General of Canada, Hon. Kelechi Madu Tells His Story

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Suspended Nigerian-Born Justice Minister and Solicitor General of Canada, Hon. Kelechi Madu Tells His Story
Hon. Kelechi Madu

The Nigerian born Justice Minister and Solicitor General of Alberta, Hon. Kelechi Madu has said he was yet to be sacked, contrary to the news that have been making the rounds in some social media platforms.

This is statement below:

Many have reached out to me wanting to know the circumstances of the ticket that I received and my subsequent call to the Edmonton Police Service Chief, Dale McFee. I have issued a formal statement to the media. The premier has also issued a statement on his planned course of action.

On the morning of March 10, I was scheduled to meet with the media at the Rotunda of the Legislature before Question Period to address their questions and speak to matters concerning the Lethbridge Police Service.

Minutes after leaving my home on my way to the Legislature, I was pulled over by an officer of the Edmonton Police Service.

The officer indicated that he had observed me driving while distracted, alleging that I was on my phone. I disagreed, stating that I was not on my phone, as it was in an inside pocket. To be absolutely clear my phone was inside the left hand side pocket of my suit and I was wearing a winter jacket. I identified myself and drove away.

Later, I spoke to Chief McFee to share the experience I have just had, and specifically for two reasons.

First, due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveilled following the Lethbridge Police Service controversy, and in particular given the fact that I was on my way to Legislature on a day that I was meeting with the media to address and answer questions around calls for action to deal with the ongoing issues at the Lethbridge Police Service.

Second, I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time and wanted the Chief to hear about my own experience. As Minister, these are concerns that were constantly being brought to my attention. The reason why I was proceeding in the Legislature with Bill 63 to ban carding which I tabled for first reading on April 7, 2021. I wanted to share this personal experience and encounter with the Chief of Police.

Chief McFee assured me that that was most definitely not the case, and I accepted him at his word.

I want to be abundantly clear, at no point did I request that the ticket be rescinded. I can assure that in my life I would never do any such thing.

That said, with hindsight now I can see how that may be perceived. There is a saying that perception is everything in politics, and I regret raising the issue at all with Chief McFee.

I paid the ticket fully and promptly. In my role as the Justice Minister and Solicitor General, I have worked diligently to ensure we build a province in which all of us – no matter the circumstances of our birth, economic, religious, social or cultural background can feel respected and welcomed. That’s the definition of my own life and I will continue as long as I have the opportunity and privilege to do so.

Finally, I have always defended the men and women who put on the uniform to serve. I have the utmost respect for them, and for the invaluable, often thankless role they perform.

With all these in mind, I am one that always hold myself accountable for my actions. I respect the Premier’s direction for me to take a temporary leave of absence pending the outcome of the independent investigation.

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