David Staples: Minister Madu, new champion of new movement, Black conservatism

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Madu is also no fan of the Black Lives Matter political movement’s push to defund the police.

There are a few bad apples in any field, including in law and the police, he says, but that’s no reason for defunding.

“I think it is nonsensical,” he says. “I don’t understand why any Black movement that wants to seek justice, fairness and equality will … seek to defund dollars and resources from an institution that is taking the most risk, on all of our behalf, the risk to themselves and their families, to ensure we are safe in our homes.”

Madu and his wife Emem came to Canada to live in a free society and have generally found it welcoming. That said, as Madu worked his way up from hospital dishwasher to law student, from government lawyer to cabinet minister, he says he experienced racism. “Unfortunately racism is real. I don’t want to minimize that.”

He says he encountered it when he applied for jobs with local law firms under his given name of Kelechi. He got no interest on dozens and dozens of applications until he anglicized his name to Kaycee. Suddenly, he started to get interviews. His wife, a top graduate out of law school, faced the same issue, he says.

The good news, he says, is that, “Canadians are welcoming and they are prepared to give you the opportunity if you are prepared to work hard. That is so true about Alberta.”

For his latest appointment, Madu got worldwide exposure as the first Black justice minister in Canada. Madu will have much to prove in this high-profile and difficult new role, but given his depth of personal experience, work ethic and rapid rise, not to mention the content of his character, I have to wonder if he might one day challenge for even higher office.



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