Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says an important part of ensuring confidence in the justice system is making sure courtrooms and those who work in them reflect the diversity of the province.
In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, the newly appointed Madu said tackling the use of carding and street checks against minorities is a top priority for him as part of an ongoing review of policing in the province. But he said he also wants to do more to diversify provincial justices.
“If we want to have public buy-in and confidence in our justice system from all walks of life, including folks from the minority community and Indigenous community, I think it’s important that we have folks who work in those courtrooms reflect today’s Alberta,” Madu said.
“So as justice minister, I now have the opportunity to appoint judges to the provincial court … and you are going to be seeing progress in that particular regard.”
“I do think there are qualified minority lawyers — people who have spent their entire lifetime working in the justice system –who deserve a shot at the bench,” he continued. “And I am prepared and committed to making sure that that becomes a reality.”
Madu migrated to Canada in 2005 from Nigeria and has been a lawyer for 16 years.
In an interview with Global News in Alberta, Madu said he has had “nothing but friendly encounters with the police” but added in his conversation with The West Block that he understands others have concerns about their own experiences with police and with racism, which he said he has also experienced.
He said he believes “tremendous progress” is being made and that the work underway now to review policing in the province will continue.