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UCP’s Kaycee Madu Faces Misconduct Allegations by Law Society

His case makes three conservative former justice ministers currently cited in Alberta. ‘Unprecedented,’ says expert.

Charles Rusnell 14 Jul 2023The Tyee

Charles Rusnell is an independent investigative reporter based in Edmonton.

Alberta now has the dubious distinction of having three of its former justice ministers facing misconduct hearings before Alberta’s law society.

The Law Society of Alberta recently cited former United Conservative Party justice minister and labour minister Kaycee Madu.

Madu now joins former UCP justice minister Tyler Shandro and Conservative justice minister Jonathan Denis in facing law society allegations of misconduct.

“I would be hard pressed to think of a justice minister, one justice minister anywhere, who was cited by his Law Society, but three within the same province, let alone within the same party is absolutely unprecedented,” University of Alberta political scientist Jared Wesley said.

“I don't think it's coincidental that it happened to a conservative party and this conservative party in Alberta,” Wesley said.

“I don't say that because it is endemic to conservatism,” he said. “But rather, it is because they have such a weak bench when it comes to people with advanced education and people with professional experience.

“And it has been, you know, dating back to the days of [former Alberta premier] Ed Stelmach,” said Wesley.

The current justice minister, Mickey Amery, was a practising lawyer until being appointed to Smith's cabinet.*

The investigation into Madu

The law society cited Madu, recently granted a King’s Counsel designation, for undermining “respect for the administration of justice when he contacted the Edmonton Police Services Chief of Police regarding a traffic ticket he received on March 10, 2021.”

A King’s Counsel designation means a lawyer is supposed to be learned in the law.

Madu called Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee after he received a $300 ticket for distracted driving on March 10, 2021. He was removed as justice minister after an investigation by a retired Court of King’s Bench justice found he had attempted to interfere with the administration of justice.

Despite this finding, now former Alberta premier Jason Kenney again appointed Madu to cabinet as minister of labour.**

Wesley said it’s “worrisome” that Premier Danielle Smith trusted Madu enough to make him her deputy premier “knowing all of the evidence that was obviously before the law society when they made the citation.”

Madu, the UCP’s only Edmonton MLA, was defeated in the last election but has been recently politicking at events like the Calgary Stampede.

A date for Madu’s hearing has not yet been set.

The investigation into Shandro

Shandro, as extensively reported by The Tyee, is before the law society for three citations related to his behaviour during his time as Alberta’s health minister in 2020.

One citation relates to an incident in which he went to the home of a doctor and berated him on his driveway after the doctor posted a derogatory meme about Shandro and his wife, who are part owners of a company that offers private health insurance.

A second citation involves the breach of privacy of two doctors who had heckled Shandro at a funding announcement at Red Deer hospital. Shandro obtained the doctors’ names and personal cellphone numbers from Alberta Health Services and called the doctors at home at night.

His third citation relates to an email he sent to Janice Fraser, a private citizen who had contacted his wife’s insurance company through its website and told her she and Shandro were in a conflict of interest due to their private insurance company. Shandro threatened to send protective services after her if she ever contacted his wife again.

During the hearing, Shandro breached Fraser’s privacy by revealing highly confidential personal information about Fraser and her family he had learned in his role as a member of the Criminal Injuries Review Board.

Lawyers for both Shandro and the law society have filed their final written statements and the final arguments are to be presented Sept. 5.

The investigation into Denis

Denis, who also was granted a King’s Counsel designation, has been cited for acting for a client while in a conflict of interest.

He also is alleged to have “threatened to make a complaint to a regulatory authority in an attempt to gain a benefit for his client.”

A date for Denis’s hearing has not yet been set.

* Story updated on July 14 at 11:48 a.m. to clarify Mickey Amery has been a practising lawyer and only stopped practising as a condition of his appointment as justice minister.

**Story changed on July 17 at 10:40 p.m. to reflect that Kaycee Madu was granted King’s Counsel designation before his traffic ticket incident.  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics, Alberta

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