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UPDATE: Two Liberal MPs step down from roles after trips to US for memorial service and to be with sick grandfather

In a statement issued Sunday, Kamal Khera, MP for Brampton West, said she was stepping down from her job as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister to International Development.

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Two Liberal MPs have voluntarily stepped down from their roles after telling the party about their international travel.

Ontario Liberal MP Kamal Khera has stepped down from her role as a parliamentary secretary because she traveled to Seattle for a service for her deceased father.

In a statement issued Sunday, Khera, MP for Brampton West, said she was stepping down from her job as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister to International Development.

In a Facebook post, Khera said her father passed away in September, with an uncle dying a short time afterwards.

“On December 23, I travelled to Seattle where I joined my late uncle’s only daughter for a private memorial of less than 10 people to honour the loss of our loved ones after not being able to attend the funeral of my uncle at the time of his passing. I returned to Canada on December 31,” she said in the post.

“Although the purpose of my travel was deemed essential under the circumstances, I have decided to step aside from my duties … in an effort to ensure my choices do not distract from the important work of our government to continuing battling this pandemic.”

Montreal-area Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi has also stepped down voluntarily from his committee roles after telling the party he travelled to Delaware between December 18-31 to be with his wife’s ailing grandfather.

Numerous politicians from all parties have returned to the country recently after travelling internationally against federal health recommendations.

But only Khera, Zuberi and Ontario Tory Finance Minister have stepped down from their jobs.

NDP MP (Churchill–Keewatinook Aski) Niki Ashton, was stripped of her role as transportation critic for visiting her sick grandmother in Greece.

Eight Alberta UCP MLA and staffers – including cabinet minister Tracey Allard – had admitted to international travel but none have stepped down.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby769

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. That's Dr. #SAND to you...

    January 4, 2021 at 10:28 am

    So where is Blackie today?

  2. Mars Hill

    January 3, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Doesn’t make any sense at all, governments and the people in them are getting more bizarre by the day.

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Madu out as justice minister

“I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today. I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has removed Justice Minister Kaycee Madu from his job after he called Edmonton’s police chief about a distracted parking ticket he received.

Madu was fined $300 on March 10, 2021 after an Edmonton police officer caught him talking on his cellphone while driving through a playground zone.

Madu soon phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, and discussed the ticket with him. 

“Minister Madu did contact me via the telephone concerned about a ticket. But just to be very, very clear, he never asked to get out of the ticket,” McFee told CBC News in December, adding he didn’t know exactly what was on the ticket.

“Everybody has to wear their decisions.”

McFee did say during their discussion, Madu brought up the issue of racial profiling by police to stop drivers. Madu is black.

“The officer indicated that he had observed me driving while distracted, alleging that I was on my phone. I disagreed, stating that I was not on my phone, as it was in an inside pocket” said Madu.

“Later, I spoke to Chief Dale McFee. Due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveilled following the controversy surrounding the Lethbridge Police Service. I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time.

“Chief McFee assured me that that was most definitely not the case, and I accepted him at his word.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Kenney who, after CBC broke the story, removed him from his post because it is “essential the independent administration of justice is maintained.

“I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today. I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation,” Kenney tweeted.

“Minister Madu told me that he did not ask to have the ticket rescinded, nor was it his intention to interfere in the case, and that he promptly paid the ticket. I understand that Chief McFee has confirmed that at no time did the Minister seek to have the ticket rescinded.

“Nevertheless, it’s essential the independent administration of justice is maintained. That’s why I will appoint a respected independent investigator to review the relevant facts and to determine whether there was interference in the administration of justice in this case.”

Energy Minister Sonya Savage will take on the duties of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

The scandal will be a blow for Kenney as Madu was one of his biggest supporters in an often fractured caucus.

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Calgary lawyer applauds Shell’s reversal of vax mandate

“The woke thing to do right now is bring in these mandates. It has nothing to do with science or safety,” said lawyer James Kitchen.

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In the wake of Shell Canada temporarily removing its mandatory vaccine policy at its Scotford site in Alberta, Calgary lawyer James Kitchen called it a “good and lawful” move.

Kitchen — a civil litigation lawyer focused on constitutional rights, human rights, and health freedom — represents a number of clients in the oil and gas sector, including CNRL staffer Naomi Smart who was the first employee dismissed without cause for refusing to adhere to the mandatory vaccine policy.

“There are two potential things happening here,” Kitchen told the Western Standard in reference to Shell’s decision to change its vaccine policy at the Scotford site.

“Either Shell is concerned with defending themselves legally — as the vaccines have little to no effect on transmission — or, there are decent human beings (who) run Shell who are looking at the science and they realize this is the sensible thing to do.”

Kitchen said Shell could be “showing some good business sense” and now, after “spending all this money and realizing nothing we do will stop it (the spread of COVID-19),” they are looking to get back to work.

“The woke thing to do right now is bring in these mandates. It has nothing to do with science or safety,” said Kitchen.

When asked if the move from Shell to reverse its vaccination policy might affect the outcome of current legal cases — including some of his own — Kitchen said he’s doubtful.

“Generally speaking, the court doesn’t care. The industry does what it wants so in a strictly legal sense, no. But in a broader sense, it does matter,” said Kitchen.  

“It’s like a band-wagon effect,” he said adding if other companies follow suit, “it could give pause and change course for policymakers.”

“I don’t expect others to follow, but I’m hopeful,” said Kitchen.

Kitchen applauded Shell for what he called, “the most reasonable, lawful positions I’ve seen in a long time.

“They have chosen not to be willfully ignorant of what is good, right and lawful and have chosen against coercion and tyranny,” said Kitchen.

“I hope it’s a harbinger of things to come.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Madu called Edmonton police chief after getting $300 distracted driving ticket

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Kaycee should resign.

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After being pulled over by Edmonton police for talking on his cellphone while driving through a playground zone, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu then dialled up Edmonton’s police chief, CBC is reporting Monday afternoon.

CBC says they have a copy of Madu’s March 10, 2021 ticket that shows he was fined $300.

He soon phoned Dale McFee, the city’s chief of police, and discussed the ticket with him. 

“Minister Madu did contact me via the telephone concerned about a ticket. But just to be very, very clear, he never asked to get out of the ticket,” McFee told CBC News in December, adding he didn’t know exactly what was on the ticket.

“Everybody has to wear their decisions.”

McFee did say during their discussion, Madu brought up the issue of racial profiling by police to stop drivers. Madu is black.

The chief also said the pair talked about the ongoing problem of political tensions within the Lethbridge Police Service.

According to court documents, Madu paid the fee by the end of that week, CBC reports.

The Western Standard has reached out to Madu for a statement but hasn’t heard back.

The NDP quickly called for Madu to resign.

“It is wholly unacceptable for the Attorney General to engage with senior law enforcement regarding a penalty levelled against him, said NDP MLA Irfan Sabir.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Kaycee should resign.

“Even if Madu didn’t call the police chief, it is a major story for the Justice Minister to receive a distracted driving ticket in a school zone. Even if it was somebody else who got the ticket (family, friend, neighbour, acquaintance, stranger), Madu still can’t call the police chief about an active case,” tweeted Bratt.

“Either Madu didn’t know that it was inappropriate to call the police chief about a ticket (which is really bad), or knew and didn’t care (which is even worse). Regardless, Madu needs to step down.

“Jean Charest resigned in 1990 as Minister of Sport for calling a judge about a case. Calling a police chief about a case is very similar. Madu needs to resign, or Kenney has to fire him.”

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