Loading articles...

Suspended Alberta justice minister says not guilty of distracted driving, opposition want more info

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu speaks to media after the release of a study commissioned on establishing a provincial police force. Credit: Government of Alberta

Alberta cabinet minister Kaycee Madu says he understands why Premier Jason Kenney relieved him of the justice portfolio after Madu phoned Edmonton’s police chief about a traffic ticket.

Madu, in a series of tweets Tuesday night, says he did not phone Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee to get the $300 distracted driving ticket cancelled, but understands why people could have concerns about the call.

The incident, which happened 10 months ago, came to light this week and Kenney suspended Madu from his justice duties pending an investigation.

Madu says he phoned the chief to seek assurances that he wasn’t being targeted by police because he is Black or because he is in a high-profile government position.

He also says that while he was ticketed for talking on his cellphone while driving, his phone was tucked in his pocket.

Opposition call on Kenney to explain late course of action

Alberta’s Opposition says Premier Jason Kenney needs to come clean about when he found out that his justice minister had called Edmonton’s police chief about getting a traffic ticket.

Irfan Sabir the NDP’s justice critic, says the ticket happened 10 months ago, but Kenney didn’t take action until it came out in the media this week.

Sabir says it doesn’t matter what Madu asked about.

He says calling the police chief is a gross violation of the independence between police and government.