NDP calls for Justice Minister Kaycee Madu to resign after reports he called Edmonton police chief over distracted driving ticket

Article content

Alberta’s NDP is calling for Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu to resign following reports he called Edmonton’s police chief after receiving a distracted driving ticket.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

CBC News first reported Madu had been pulled over on March 10, 2021 and fined $300 for being on his cellphone in a school zone. Soon after, he called Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee to discuss the ticket.

Postmedia confirmed through court records Madu was issued a ticket for operating a vehicle while using a cellphone and paid the $300 fine two days later. Postmedia has also reached out to Madu’s office for comment.

In a statement, Edmonton police spokeswoman Cheryl Sheppard confirmed McFee received a phone call from Madu in relation to the ticket on March 10.

“Minister Madu had concerns about the context of the traffic stop. To be clear, he did not ask the chief to rescind the ticket. The ticket remains valid and was issued correctly,” Sheppard said.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Opposition NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir said in a statement it is “wholly unnacceptable” for Madu to speak with senior law enforcement over a penalty he is involved in, calling for Madu to resign.

“Regular Alberta drivers do not have the ability to call their local police chief and discuss traffic tickets. Madu used his position as minister to initiate this conversation, and regardless of whether he asked the chief to cancel the ticket, it is political interference for him to have discussed it all,” Sabir said.

“There is a long-standing parliamentary precedent that prohibits this kind of behaviour. It is inappropriate for any cabinet minister to interfere in the administration of justice, even more so when it’s directly related to their own personal self-interest, and it’s utterly unacceptable when that interference is committed but the Attorney General.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt also believes Madu should step down.

“This is a red line. You do not call judges. You do not call police chiefs about active cases. As a minister of the Crown, you just do not do that,” Bratt said.

“He’s not a junior minister. He’s a justice minister. And even if the ticket wasn’t about him, but a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a neighbour, a stranger, it doesn’t matter. You don’t call the police chief when you’re a justice minister.”

Bratt said Madu calling McFee is seen as political interference.

“Even if the police chief says, ‘Oh, he didn’t ask me to reverse the ticket.’ No, but he is letting you know about it,” Bratt said.

“He is letting you know the officer who did it. That is pressure. You don’t need to spell it out. You just know that there is a power imbalance with the minister of justice and a police chief.”

With files from Ashley Joannou

ajunker@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JunkerAnna

Advertisement

Story continues below

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

View original article here Source