Kent Report: Statement from Premier Kenney
Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement on the release of the Kent Report:
“On Feb. 15, the clerk of executive council received the report from former Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adèle Kent with respect to a phone call made by Minister Kaycee Madu to Chief Dale McPhee of the Edmonton Police Service.
“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.
“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 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.
“I have asked Minister Tyler Shandro to serve as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. He 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 Program 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 programs.
“I thank Ms. Kent for her report, and both ministers for their continued public service.”
UCP’S OWN INVESTIGATION PROVES MADU CANNOT REMAIN IN CABINET
EDMONTON – Alberta Minister Kaycee Madu must return to the backbenches, said the Alberta NDP, after the UCP’s own investigation proved Madu tried to interfere in the administration of justice.
The investigation conducted by retired Court of Queen’s Bench justice Adèle Kent concluded that former Justice Minister and Attorney General Kaycee Madu attempted to interfere with the administration of justice when he called Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee to discuss his own traffic ticket. Madu was ticketed for distracted driving in a school zone last March.
“This is incredibly serious. It undermines the separation between political leadership and law enforcement that is fundamental to a free democratic society,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley.
“This is a firing offense for any cabinet minister and most especially for the Attorney General. It is totally unacceptable for Kaycee Madu to remain in the UCP cabinet. For Jason Kenney to allow him to stroll down the hall into another ministry and continue to sit as part of the province’s executive council is unforgivable.”
Madu was permitted to sit on the UCP frontbench as a Minister this week despite holding no portfolio.
“Albertans cannot trust the UCP when this kind of egregious behaviour goes totally unpunished,” said Notley. “Once again, it’s clear that Jason Kenney’s desperation to survive his leadership review is the only thing that drives decision-making in this government.”
On January 20th, Kenney pledged to eject Madu from cabinet if the investigation found he interfered with the administration of justice.
“Justice Kent concluded that Madu did attempt to interfere in the administration of justice and yet Madu remains in cabinet,” Notley said. “This is utter contempt for the rule of law in Alberta.”
The UCP announced that former Health Minister Tyler Shandro—who also has a track record of inappropriate phone calls and unacceptable behavior toward Albertans—will take over as Justice Minister.
“Is there anyone in the UCP Caucus with a legal background who hasn’t abused their office? Why is the UCP Cabinet playing musical chairs with the same failed ministers over and over?” asked Justice Critic Irfan Sabir.
The Alberta NDP reiterates its call for Madu to be removed from cabinet immediately.