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EDMONTON — Alberta’s opposition is calling on the justice minister to resign after he phoned Edmonton’s police chief to raise concerns about a traffic ticket.

The Edmonton Police Department said Kaycee Madu called Chief Dale McFee shortly after receiving a ticket for distracted driving in March 2021.

The service said in a statement that Madu had concerns about the traffic stoppage but did not ask the chief to waive the ticket.

Police say the ticket was issued correctly and remains valid.

NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir said whatever the intent, it is an abuse of power for any cabinet minister – let alone the justice minister – to interfere. in the legal process regarding a personal matter.

Madu and a spokesman for Prime Minister Jason Kenney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The issue was revealed in an article published Monday by CBC Edmonton.

CBC said Madu received a ticket for distracted driving while using a cellphone in a school zone.

CBC reported that McFee said in an interview that Madu, who is black, called soon after to express concern about people of color being arrested by officers. He said he later paid for the $300 ticket.

Madu represents the constituency of Edmonton South West for the United Conservative Government and has served as Minister of Justice since August 2020.

McFee, through the police media relations office, declined an interview. But the service released a short statement.

“Chief McFee received a phone call from Minister Madu regarding a distracted driving ticket issued to him on March 10, 2021,” he said.

“Minister Madu had concerns about the background of the traffic stop. To be clear, he didn’t ask the chef to cancel the ticket. The ticket remains valid and was issued correctly.

Sabir, in a statement, said parliamentary precedent required Madu to step down from his cabinet post.

“Regular Alberta drivers don’t have the ability to call their local police chief and discuss tickets,” Sabir said.

“Madu used his position as a minister to initiate this conversation, and whether or not he asked the chief to cancel the ticket, it is political interference for him to have discussed everything.

“It is inappropriate for a Cabinet Minister to interfere in the administration of justice, all the more so when it is directly related to his own personal interest, and it is completely unacceptable for such interference to be committed by the Attorney General.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 17, 2022.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press


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