History has been made as Canada has appointed its first Black Justice Minister and Solicitor General. This is the kind of news we want to hear in these times where there is so much unrest in the world, especially with regards to the treatment of Blacks and institutional racism.
Kelechi (Kaycee) Madu, a Nigerian-born lawyer formerly of the Municipal Affairs in a cabinet, was elevated to the justice portfolio. The occupant of that position, Calgary-Elbow MLA Doug Schweitzer, has now been moved to the economic portfolio. A move that the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, deems important because it will bring the “needed perspective” and change in the justice system.
Madu’s legal training and policy expertise will be needed in his new position to implement key democratic changes “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.”
On Wednesday, a statement released by Madu spoke about the way forward with the ministry amid these strenuous social and economic times. He said his fundamental beliefs in emitting justice equally has been the backbone of his legal work and that will always remain.
“I spent my entire professional career fighting for those who lacked means, including at Legal Aid Alberta, Labour, Immigration, and Human Rights Tribunals, and ian 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 marginalized people before the law, and I look forward to that important work ahead,” he said.
The 47-year-old newly appointed Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Canada was born and raised in the South-eastern part of Nigeria. Madu attained his Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) honors degree at the University of Lagos where he was later called to the bar in his home country.
His life in Canada began when he and his wife migrated to the country for his wife’s postgraduate studies at the University of Alberta.
A solicitor with experience in litigation practice, Madu runs a small law firm with his wife in the city. He has experience from other sectors as well as working with Alberta Hospital – Patients Food Services, Legal Aid Alberta, and the Government of Alberta.
Madu’s work in government “spans through employment standards investigations, strategic and operational public policy, regulatory and legislative reforms, governmental issues management and stakeholder consultation.”
Madu is a committed family man with three children and loves to travel. He supports community development and politics, public policy, and international affairs. He is one to also give back to the community in different ways.
He volunteers with the Edmonton Community Legal Center (ECLC) and the Law Society of Alberta Lawyer Referral Program. He is a member of the cultural association, the Igbo Cultural Association of Edmonton, and he supports his community league activities and his church.