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Alberta’s Justice Minister Kaycee Madu.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Alberta’s Justice Minister called Edmonton’s police chief after receiving a distracted driving ticket, the force confirmed on Monday.

Kaycee Madu got the ticket on March 10, 2021; he then phoned Dale McFee, chief of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). Alberta’s Official Opposition called for Mr. Madu’s resignation on Monday, shortly after the CBC first reported details of the incident.

EPS, in a statement, confirmed Mr. Madu’s traffic violation and the subsequent phone call.

“Chief McFee did receive a phone call from Minister Madu in relation to a distracted driving ticket he was issued on March 10, 2021,” EPS spokeswoman Cheryl Sheppard said in a statement. “Minister Madu had concerns about the context of the traffic stop. To be clear, he did not ask the Chief to rescind the ticket. The ticket remains valid and was issued correctly.”

Mr. Madu was fined $300 for using his cellphone in a school zone, according to the CBC’s report. The broadcaster said Mr. Madu paid the fine before the end of the week it was issued.

Mr. Madu’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Premier Jason Kenney’s office did not reply to a message seeking comment.

Alberta’s New Democratic Party immediately called for Mr. Madu, who represents an Edmonton riding, to step down.

“Regular Alberta drivers do not have the ability to call their local police chief and discuss traffic tickets,” Irfan Sabir, the justice critic, said in a statement. “Madu used his position as minister to initiate this conversation, and regardless of whether he asked the chief to cancel the ticket, it is political interference for him to have discussed it all.

“There is a long-standing parliamentary precedent that prohibits this kind of behaviour. It is inappropriate for any cabinet minister to interfere in the administration of justice, even more so when it’s directly related to their own personal self-interest,” Mr. Sabir said.

Political scientist Duane Bratt said on Twitter that the minister must leave his post. “This is a fireable offence. Calling the police chief is completely unacceptable by any MLA; but it is even worse coming from the Justice Minister. Madu needs to step down,” Mr. Bratt said.

Mr. Madu became the first Black person to serve in Canada as justice minister in August, 2020.

EPS’s chief told the CBC that during the call, Mr. Madu expressed concern about police stopping people of colour. Further, the CBC reported that Chief McFee said Mr. Madu also brought up political tension around the Lethbridge Police Service. The Lethbridge force is under fire because some of its members inappropriately monitored MLA Shannon Phillips when she was a cabinet minister in the NDP government.

Devin Dreeshen stepped down in November as Alberta’s minister of agriculture and forestry after the CBC reported allegations of heavy drinking in his office, including code words for staff members to enter a locked room when liquor was flowing.

“I accept that my personal conduct with regards to alcohol has become an issue for the government as a whole,” Mr. Dreeshen wrote on Twitter at the time. “I deeply regret that this is the case, but have decided that it is best for both myself and the province to resign my position and focus on my personal health and wellness.”

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