Canada Appoints Nigerian Kaycee Madu as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Edmonton-South West MLA Kaycee Madu's appointment as justice minister and solicitor general is being celebrated by some in Alberta's Black community as a way to bring needed perspective to the justice system.
Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday elevated Madu 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.
Kenney said the appointment of Madu makes a powerful statement at a time when Albertans have grown more sensitive to racial prejudice.
"[Madu] is a man who has experienced racial prejudice firsthand and can bring that sensitivity to this important role," Kenney said. "I'm excited to have him in that position."
The premier said Madu is the first Black Canadian to occupy either provincial or federal justice positions of the justice minister, attorney general or solicitor general.
Born and raised in southeastern Nigeria, Madu graduated from the University of Lagos with a law degree in 2001. He and his wife moved to Canada in 2005. They have three children.
Madu, who has practised law in both Nigeria and Alberta, was first elected as an MLA in the April 2019 general election.
Dunia Nur, president of the Edmonton-based African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, said Madu has become a role model for the community.
"Whether we agree with one party or another that doesn't really matter, especially for the Black voice right now," Nur said in an interview Tuesday.
"What matters is effective Black people that are educated, that have integrity, that also have education background, are the ones that are occupying the space."
The council promotes and strengthens opportunities for members of the African, Caribbean and Black communities across Canada.