Nigerian-born Canadian Minister of Justice and Solicitor General for Alberta, Kaycee Madu, has been ordered by Premier Jason Kenney to step back from ministerial duties following reports he called Edmonton’s police chief after receiving a distracted driving ticket.
Mr. Madu has however addressed the matter in a statement released on his Facebook page on Wednesday morning, where he narrated his side of the speed driving ticket incident that happened in 2021, admitting that he indeed called Edmonton’s police chief after the incident, but not to ask him to rescind the ticket.
He stated that at no time was he on a phone call when he was pulled over by the police and issued a ticket. He said he however paid for the ticker, fully and promptly.
Madu stated that many close contacts have reached out wanting to know the circumstances of the ticket incident and his subsequent call to the Edmonton Police Service Chief, Dale McFee.
He said, “ 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.”
He added that he later spoke to Chief McFee to share the experience he had 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 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.”
Madu stated that in his conversation with the Edmonton Police Service Chief, Dale McFee, he never requested for the ticket to be rescinded, adding that he now sees how the incident may have been perceived, and regrets raising the issue at all with McFee.
“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,” he said.
Madu also added that he respects the Premier’s direction, urging him to take a temporary leave of absence pending the outcome of the independent investigation.