Jason Kenney warned us. Prior to stepping down as premier, he suggested it was important he stay on to prevent the UCP from being taken over by “lunatics” and “kooky people.” But after getting barely lukewarm support from his party on a leadership vote, he stepped down.
In any case, it appears he was right. The leading candidate for leadership of the UCP (and premiership of the province) is Danielle Smith who, among other things, has advocated for ivermectin as a Covid treatment and proposed legislation that would allow the province to ignore federal laws it doesn’t like. Ms. Smith seems firmly in the lunatics camp.
Now a cabinet minister has offered his “kooky people” credentials. Labour and Immigration Minister Kaycee Madu expressed his gratitude to the”freedom convoys” for their efforts against Ottawa’s pandemic restrictions. “Thanks to all those citizens, freedom convoys, who had the courage to mobilize against these tyrannical policies,” he twitted.
Those citizens to whom he is referring terrorized our capital city for three weeks and shut down two border crossings. Some of their leaders have been charged with mischief, intimidation and obstructing police. Four have been charged with conspiring to kill RCMP officers.
Not only is Mr. Madu a lawyer, a profession mandated to respect the law, but he is a former minister of justice. Yes, you read that correctly—minister of justice! So it appears we had a justice minister who heaps praise on people who engage in crimes ranging from public mischief to conspiracy to murder.
I should point out that Madu was bounced from his position as justice minister after he telephoned Edmonton’s police chief to “discuss” a traffic ticket he had received. An investigation concluded he had attempted to interfere with the administration of justice. The premier, nonetheless, rewarded him with another cabinet position, in part no doubt because he is the only UCP MLA from Edmonton.
All in all, Mr. Madu has earned an honourable place alongside Ms. Smith with the UCP’s lunatics. Jason Kenney knows his party.
Alberta politics may be accused of many things, but being dull isn’t one of them. I can hardly wait for what Ms. Smith will offer should she become premier, and for what she will find for Mr. Madu to do. Maybe minister of justice?