Kaycee (Kelechi) Madu, a Nigerian-born lawyer made history after being appointed the Minister of Justice in Alberta, Canada. He was elevated to the justice portfolio from Municipal Affairs in a cabinet shuffle that saw Calgary-Elbow MLA Doug Schweitzer move from justice to an economic portfolio.
With this historic appointment, Madu is now the first Black Justice Minister and Solicitor General in Canada.
Jason Kenney, the Premier of Alberta describes the appointment as one that would bring the “needed perspective” and change in the justice system. He said:
This effectively takes the Economic Development, Trade and Tourism portfolio (and) renames it. Additional functions will be added to the ministry over the weeks and months that come.
This is a broadened and expanded ministry. Alberta is being hit especially hard with the double whammy of the global coronavirus recession, on top of that the collapse of energy prices which has clobbered our largest industry — oil and gas.
LIVE: Announcing a limited Cabinet reset to ensure the best people are in the right positions for focus on Alberta's Recovery Plan to build, diversify, and create jobs. https://t.co/IhDhwGo8dC
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) August 25, 2020
Madu will bring his legal training and policy experience to implement key democratic reforms including citizen’s initiative and recall legislation, a review of Alberta’s Police Act and the execution of the fair deal panel recommendations endorsed by the government.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Kaycee Madu stated that the importance of carrying the new ministry forward amid difficult social and economic times weighs heavily on his mind.
He said that his fundamental belief in equal access to justice has always informed his legal work, and that will never change.
I spent my entire professional career fighting for those who lacked means, including at Legal Aid Alberta, Labour, Immigration, and Human Rights Tribunals, and in the courts. My views on the application of justice and equality will always be integral to who I am as a father, husband, citizen, lawyer, and politician. I am determined to make sure our justice system represents all Albertans in a way that is fair and accountable. In particular, I believe Modernizing the Police Act will be a necessary step towards ensuring equality for marginalised people before the law, and I look forward to that important work ahead.
Here are 7 facts about Kaycee Madu:
- He studied Law in the University of Lagos and was called to bar in the early 2000s.
- Madu has been a lawyer for 16 years, practising in both Nigeria and Alberta. In addition to running Tisel Law Office with his wife, Emem.
- Tisel Law Office, their law firm, was established to “provide high-quality client-focused legal services as we place the client first, and will work with you to find the best solution for your legal issues.”
- He worked for Legal Aid Alberta and volunteered with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre and the Lawyer Referral Program of the Law Society of Alberta.
- Prior to his appointment, Kaycee Madu was a member of the legislative assembly of the province representing the district of Edmonton-South West after winning the 2019 Alberta general election.
- In 2009, alongside a team he worked within the public service, Madu was awarded the Premier’s Award of Excellence in the bronze medal category.
- He volunteers with Alberta’s Nigerian and Igbo communities.