The Premier of Alberta, Canada, Jason Kenney has appointed 20 Ministers to his cabinet and one of them is Nigerian-born Kaycee Madu.
According to media reports, Madu was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs. The Canadian media says he is Edmonton’s lone UCP MLA
The guiding force of Alberta’s new government is young, diverse and ready to get to work bringing renewed economic prosperity to the province, United Conservative Party Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday at a ceremony to swear in his first cabinet.
“We will focus relentlessly on creating good jobs, growing the economy and building pipelines — west, east and south — to get our products to market,” Kenney said after the official ceremony at Government House in Edmonton.
“We have many more commitments to keep — 375 to be precise — and we are eager to get to work today.”
The cabinet includes 20 ministers and three associate ministers, one of whom will be devoted to the task of reducing red tape. Seven of the 23 members are returning MLAs.
The largest contingent came from Calgary, with 13 members, including the premier himself. The cabinet has seven women, and, as Kenney pointed out several times, four men named Jason. .
The cabinet has one only representative from northern Alberta — Finance Minister Travis Toews, the MLA-elect for Grande Prairie-Wapiti. Southern Alberta has only one rural representative: Grant Hunter, the MLA-elect for Taber-Warner, was named associate minister in charge of reducing government red tape.
When asked about the unequal regional representation, Kenney said his cabinet had a good balance between veterans and newcomers as well as backgrounds.
“I know that Minister Toews, as minister of finance and president of the treasury board, is going to be a very strong voice for northern Alberta, as will I as premier,” he said.
Some veterans from the last legislature did not make cabinet, notably Drew Barnes from Cypress-Medicine Hat and Angela Pitt from Airdrie-East.
After the ceremony, Kenney planned to convene his first cabinet meeting. Proclaiming Bill 12 — the turn-off-the-taps legislation that was passed by the previous NDP government but never enacted into law — may have been on the agenda, though Kenney refused to confirm, citing cabinet secrecy.
Kenney said he doesn’t intend to use the measures in the bill right away.
“It is not our intention to reduce shipments or turn off the tap at this time,” he said. “We simply want to demonstrate that our government is serious about defending the vital economic interests of Alberta.”
Besides his position as a Minister, Kaycee Madu is also a member of parliament representing his Edmonton South-West constituency. The ministry is the third largest in Alberta with over $3.7 billion portfolio and it is to be superintended by an immigrant that has sojourned there for barely 14 years.
A lone United Conservative Party, UCP, lawmaker in Edmonton, Madu won in one of the closest races in the provincial election, garnering 7,742 votes to beat his competitors: John Archer of the New Democrat Party, NDP, who polled 6,974 votes; Mo Elsalhy of the AP with 2,111 votes; Marilyn Burns of the AAP who polled 178 and Rigel Vincent of the GPA with 108 when 62 of 64 polls reported. The significance of his victory is underscored by the fact that Edmonton remains solidly orange, an opposition column.
When Madu won the UCP nomination in December 2018 defeating fellow party members Sohail Quadri and Kevin Greco, the then party leader, Jason Kenney, who also took oath of office on Tuesday as Alberta Premier, issued a statement extolling the candidate. “Today, more than 1000 United Conservative members in Edmonton-South West cast ballots for their preferred candidate for the next election from amongst three great contestants. I would like to congratulate Kaycee Madu on winning this highly competitive race.
Kaycee is a committed conservative, a lawyer, and a father of three. Prior to coming to Canada with his wife, Emem, Kaycee graduated from the law school and was subsequently called to the Bar in Nigeria. He has since established a law firm in Edmonton where he continues to practice. “Kaycee enjoys giving back to the community and volunteers his legal skills with the Law Society of Alberta Lawyer Referral Program and the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, ECLC. He is a member of the Igbo Cultural Association of Edmonton and supports his community league activities and his church.
Kaycee’s legal expertise and his unique understanding of the challenges faced by newcomers to Canada make him a valuable member of the United Conservative team as we work to present Albertans with a common-sense alternative to the NDP. I am pleased to welcome Kaycee as the United Conservative candidate in Edmonton-South West.” His law firm’s website says as much, stating that he is a lawyer with a background in civil litigation and employment law who has worked for the provincial government under the Progressive Conservatives, helping review and develop laws and policies around the minimum wage.