You’ve got to hand it to Kaycee Madu, the only United Conservative Party MLA in Edmonton and for a little while at least Alberta’s minister of labour, the man’s got no shame.

UCP leadership frontrunner Danielle Smith (Photo: Facebook/Danielle Smith).

Call it what you will, brass, cheek, gall or chutzpah, he’s got no shortage of the stuff! 

Yesterday, loudly making his support for UCP leadership candidate Danielle Smith known to all on social media, Mr. Madu caused jaws to drop all over Alberta with his Twitter declaration of “thanks to all those citizens, freedom convoys, who had the courage to mobilize against these tyrannical policies.”

“They endured a lot hate, name calling, suffered and vilified on behalf of all of us,” his tweet continued. “I thank them!”

While Mr. Madu apparently had the Trudeau Government’s ArriveCAN smartphone app in mind, the “tyrannical” policies he mentioned also included the half-hearted public health measures implemented by Jason Kenney’s cabinet, in which he served throughout the pandemic.

They were regularly denounced by the Q-adjacent Ms. Smith, the quack-COVID-cure enthusiast who is now the frontrunner to replace Mr. Kenney and lead the UCP when the party vote results are announced on Oct. 6.

Soon-to-depart Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

As for the “freedom convoys” Mr. Madu referenced, they included the U.S. border blockade at Coutts in January and February 2022, when he was Alberta’s justice minister, which resulted in several participants being charged with plotting to murder RCMP officers.

Surely it’s not a good look for even a former UCP justice minister to be thanking such characters for their war against policies he himself not so long ago endorsed in cabinet and public

But that was then and this is now. Anyway, we don’t really do irony out here in Wild Rose Country. 

One gets the impression Mr. Madu isn’t even mildly discomfited by this glaring contradiction, any more than he seemed to be when he got caught that same February asking the chief of the Edmonton Police Service a year earlier about a ticket he’d received for distracted driving in a school zone.

That was too much for Mr. Kenney, though, who soon shuffled him off to his present portfolio.

Calgary Sun political columnist Rick Bell (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Most Parliamentary first ministers would have fired Mr. Madu on the spot. 

Instead, playing Parliamentary musical chairs, Mr. Kenney made him swap jobs with Tyler Shandro, another catastrophic cabinet minister who like Mr. Madu has left a trail of devastation in his wake. 

Now this, which even by the UCP’s standards rather boggles the mind. 

In the wild reaction Mr. Madu’s tweet stirred up on social media, opinion seemed to be divided between those who thought he was trying desperately to keep a job in cabinet when Ms. Smith is sworn in as premier – as tout le monde political Alberta now assumes she will be – or merely to get himself a nice sinecure with her government that has the potential to survive the loss of his seat in Edmonton-South West to the NDP in the next general election.

It’s quite possible, of course, that both could be true.

You can count on it that Mr. Madu is not the only former Kenney acolyte now scrambling to get into Ms. Smith’s good books.

Calgary Sun political columnist Rick Bell, who has a talent for positioning himself adjacent to the Conservative leader most likely to hold power, yesterday described the “pathetic” pleas of these MLAs to win Ms. Smith’s favour.

“‘You know me,’” Mr. Bell quoted them telling him. “‘I didn’t really support Kenney. You thought I supported him but I didn’t agree with him. Not really. It just looked that way. Truth be told, I didn’t even like him. He didn’t listen. It’s not my fault.’ Then … ‘You know Danielle Smith. Can you put in a good word for me?’”

“I’ve seen rats on a sinking ship with more character,” Mr. Bell summed them up.

That sounds about right. And that’s why, notwithstanding all the brave predictions by Kenney loyalists up to now, Ms. Smith will likely have no problem getting the UCP Caucus to pass her anti-Canadian “Sovereignty Act.”

Of course, this presupposes a government led by Ms. Smith can win a provincial election against Opposition Leader and former premier Rachel Notley’s well-funded and disciplined New Democratic Party. 

Yesterday afternoon Ms. Smith, understandably enough, was touting her own rather dubious poll, which unsurprisingly suggests a UCP led by her could beat Ms. Notley’s NDP in a general election. 

Since at the moment we don’t know what questions were asked, how respondents were chosen, or the methodology used by the Conservative activist outfit that conducted the survey, that remains to be seen.

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20 Comments

  1. Up to now, we could always fall back on shame to push politicians into doing the right thing.

    Obviously that is not true for Madu.

    Shame on those that voted for this.
    Shame on us for letting this happen.

  2. I guess this is how it will all unfold.

    Lawlessness becomes heroic acts of resistance; vandalism becomes free speech; and clearly flagrant acts of corruption become owning the opposition.

    It’s not like Kaycee Madu has ever been on the side of the good and the competent. He has dedicated his entire political career to breaking things and making enemies. Of course, he’s one of these people who honestly he must be doing something right if he’s hated. And, surprisingly, he has been very successful at failing upwards. Every single one of his transgressions, ministerial failures, and outright boneheaded stunts have assured him job security that others envy.

    Now that he is firmly onside with Danielle Straitjacket, he is determined to do everything he can to make sure he’s reinstalled as Atty Gen. so he can feverishly defend the Alberta Sovereignty Act. He will argue that Canada is a figment of the Liberals’ imagination and Alberta is the only thing that’s real. And if he’s hauled before the SCC, he just declare that the Court doesn’t really exist, and blame Trudeau.

  3. Kenney will surely rue the day he went to the wall in support of Madu. JK had ample reason to eject Madu’s sorry ass for his major transgressions; instead he transferred him to another portfolio.

    The people of Edmonton SW were robbed of having an ND MLA in 2019 and need to ensure that Nathan Ip is the successful candidate next year.

  4. Why isn’t this a surprise? You can’t expect anything good, reasonable, let alone sensible to come from these pretend conservatives and Reformers. Alberta often had the worst levels of Covid-19 cases in the entire country, because of the UCP’s inability to look after things properly. So many people have died, because of this. Kaycee Madu then thinks it’s okay to support lawbreakers, who oppose the safety and well being of others, while costing us a lot of money in the process. If constituents in Kaycee Madu’s riding had any sense, they’d vote him out in the next provincial election. He didn’t win his seat by a wide margin in the last provincial election anyways. If Albertans had any sense, they’d dump the entire UCP in the next federal election. The UCP are like a reincarnation of Ralph Klein, and they are doing the exact opposite of the great things that Peter Lougheed was doing for Alberta. Very low oil royalty rates, losing us billions of dollars, very bad corporate tax rates, losing us billions of dollars, very pricey shenanigans, which also have cost us billions of dollars, while support for public education, public healthcare, infrastructure, policing, and social programs gets cut. On top of this, the UCP wants to compromise the pensions of Albertans with a stupid Alberta provincial pension plan. Despite all this, that the UCP has done wrong, Postmedia still props the UCP up, just like they do with Pierre Poliveire, who is another pretend conservative and Reformer, who will cause more harm. Where’s the sense in that?

  5. Well Mr. Madu who seemed to be quite a Kenney loyalist, seems to have finally ditched that. It seems his loyalty is more to power than anything else. Of course, in his case it may work in the short term – there aren’t any other Edmonton UCP MLA’s for the next leader to put in the cabinet.

    However, the rats fleeing the one ship may be headed toward the deck of another that may also sink soon. There are a number of problems for Mr Madu, first of all winning as an MLA in a general election. He might hope that getting in Ms. Smith’s good graces will get him an appointment to something. However, why would she do that before an election and lose the only incumbent candidate in the area? If she doesn’t win the general election than obviously there will be no appointment for him after.

    Lastly, I suspect while Mr Madu would like to forget his past position on the anti vaxers, Smith will remember this. While she will accept his support and may even keep him in cabinet she may keep a cool distance. Of all people, I suspect Smith can recognize opportunism when she sees it.

    Well, I suppose the only alternative for Madu was to retire with whatever dignity he had left. Instead he has decided to cling to power, however fleeting it may be, and pay for it with what little is left of his credibility. On a larger scale, this is also what the UCP has become. It could be a sad ending for a party which at one time briely had ambitions to be a broad mainstream conservative movement.

  6. Road blockers, church burners, and statue topplers…. remember when all we had to do was make a few signs? Now we have to DESTROY just to get attention and CHANGE, and it still gets us nowhere but jailed with our bank accounts frozen and the media demonizing us. The elites won. 100%. There’s nothing we can do but bend the knee or apply for MAID. Viva Canada.

  7. I think Mr. Madu must be thinking about a post-MLA position with Ms. Smith’s government. He knows he barely snuck into his current MLA role when a large part of the province was on a Jason Kenney-UCP high. Now that things have cooled towards the UCP (even Danielle Smith’s poll has the UCP lower now than they were in the 2019 election) Madu must know that his chance of winning reelection are slim. Personally I was surprised he even managed to win the UCP nomination for the 2023 election. Thus Madu’s only hope to stay on the public teat is to curry Ms. Smith’s favour, so as to get appointed to a board of some sort.

  8. How is the sovereignty act “anti-Canadian”.

    Seems to me something that will allow Canada to stay intact is pro-Canada.

    Good fences make for good neighbours and currently the fence between our wallets and vote buying in eastern Canada is a little to short.

    There is also the other issue of the definition of government. Get what you want and make somebody else pay for it.

    Currently metro jurisdictions want to do something about climate change. However they dont want to pay more than a $100 a year to deal with it. So they are charging CO2 taxes on production of Oil and Gas when all such charges should be on the consumption of oil and gas.

    This allows such jurisdictions to avoid this tax by purchasing their commodities through free trade.

    If that doesnt seem fair, you would be correct. And as an added bonus, the policy is destabilizing Europe. Progressive politics at its finest.

    Which is why the fence building initiative is required. To save western civilization from itself.

    1. Hey Bret Larson, do you mind if I ask for some of the sites you get news from? Not trying to be a jerk, just trying to figure out where you’re coming from. I respect that by posting here you are maybe getting farther outside of your political comfort zone than most do. Nowadays it seems people can only talk politics with people who are on “their side. ” I am pretty far left myself and I used to learn a lot talking to right wingers because they could point out flaws in my ideas but now I honestly sometimes feel like I’m watching a homeless guy under a bridge rant about how they’re putting flouride in the water so they can use our teeth to power Jewish space lasers. Anyways, if I could find a right wing news source that isn’t just angry people shouting things I know to be false, I would consume it regularly. If you know of one of appreciate it. Cheers!

      1. Hey no problem, I get my news from a wide range of sites.

        Having an appreciation for the bias of sites allows one to glean useful information from the most biased of them.

  9. Not withstanding — I see what you did there.

    Just the other day, the town councillor from Fort Macleod who led Coutts border blockaders was charged with mischief over $5000. Two others have also been charged.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/coutts-border-blockade-protest-new-charges-rcmp-1.6585566

    The four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder are going to trial in June. June being one month after the May 2023 provincial election, one can assume this incident, and Kaycee Madu’s support of it, will be at the forefront during the election. We’ll see how that goes. A government official supporting an illegal protest is bad enough, but the justice minister of the day supporting people accused of conspiracy to commit murder and other serious offences? It can get any worse.

    Spare us the talk of how much the lawbreakers have suffered. The people of Alberta have suffered enough at the hands of this government. When the government does not support the rule of law, democracy is dead. We are witnessing a rogue state. The UCP must go.

  10. A picture in the St. Albert Gazette once again proves what my senior friends and I have experienced since the Ralph Klein days it’s many of our fellow seniors who allowing themselves to be treated like morons and believing the lies these Reformers are feeding them. You would think they would be smart enough to understand what these fake conservatives have done to us starting with Ralph Klein , but they ignore it. Too dumb to understand what they have lost.

  11. kaycee seems to have that immigrant problem of bringing a whole lot of the “old” country thinking into his new life. Here 17 years and bully politics are still the rule of his day . On second thought that’s not a terrible fit with conspiracy convoy conservative party CCCP.
    Rats on a sinking ship with more character indeed.

  12. Do you know what it was like living through that experience last winter? Do you know what it is like to be terrorized at all hours of the night? Is that something you are wishing on yourself and therefore wishing it on others to emphasize your point? I was born and raised in this town and didn’t think any of you, those making the protest and those supporting it, were very considerate of your fellow citizens. How would you like it if someone did that to your elderly mother or father? That’s not what being civilized means. If you are going to benefit from the benfits of civilization, you should not terrorize others to make your point. Use the brains that you were given and tons of school taxes paid for to make your point. Please stop – you go toooooooooo far. I beseach you.

  13. As columnist Rick Bell describes them, UCP MLAs weigh confessing fake loyalty to premier Kenney as less risky than the diminished reputation such a revelation should earn them. These craven caucuses members should nominate themselves an Oscar for, say, best pathos while admitting their chauvinism was really charlatanism all along.

    But riding Danielle Smith’s coattails to re-election by confessing one isn’t really somebody a new premier should trust? That could only be calculated a lower priority by someone in a desperate situation.

    Perhaps it’s just ill-thought-out. Certainly former justice minister Kaycee Madu has been known to be a bit compulsive when cooling off instead would have saved his cabinet portfolio and his reputation, to say nothing of his party’s. Had he simply paid that distracted driving ticket he got while motoring through a school zone (an Edmonton policeman spotted him talking on his cellphone) instead of quickly phoning the Chief of police to flame about racial profiling and otherwise look like he was inappropriately sweating the Chief to do something about it, he could have preserved whatever trustworthiness he had hitherto.

    Smith has been reckoned front runner for the party leadership for months now, so either Madu just noticed (perhaps he’s been preoccupied with sitting on the bubble since that distracted driving thingy) or he’s been biding his time before declaring his suspiciously ostentatious fealty to Smith. That would be commendable taciturnity —perhaps a lesson Kaycee learned from that distracted driving thingy.

    But no Oscar for best portrayal of sincere sycophancy.

    In fact, Madu’s performance seems under-rehearsed —which is odd given he’s at least as desperate as any other UCP MLA is, and that he seems to have taken his time to step into the spotlight to recite his script’s unmistakable message. To be sure, there are a number of contingencies he probably considered —including how Smith might reward his pledged allegiance if she becomes premier, what patronage plumb if she excludes him from her first cabinet or if he loses his own seat in next Spring’s general election. In these senses, Madu appears as if he might have given his prospects some sober reflection in the long term and short. In the old, collectivist school curriculum, he would have gotten an inclusive gold star.

    Smith’s rhetoric is so out there that his pronouncement looks measured in comparison—which might have been a factor in Madu’s tone and timing. Naturally he’d want to be wary of her sensitivity to ‘bozo eruptions’ (just as she led the Wildrose party to first-place in the polls only a few weeks before the 2012 election, one of her candidate’s “Lake of Fire” warning to homosexuals scuttled the party’s popularity and her bid for the premier’s office). Wildrose’s 2012 failure to unseat the aged ProgCon government also set in motion a remarkable series of political events in Alberta and Canada, leading to today and certainly into history. Madu thus may take a bow for his laudable temperance at this almost incredible juncture—at least compared to his distracted driving thingy.

    Objectively, the UCP saga continues to astound, a context which allows for words and deeds which elsewhere would earn severe opprobrium and condemnation. The party that came in like a pride of lions in 2019 looks to be going out like an asylum of lunatics—all inside a single term. Its MLAs look desperate by confessing they can’t be trusted by anyone unfortunate enough to become leader. The party’s heir apparent encourages cranks, cowards, charlatans, convoyeurs and chauvinists alike to support her preposterous platform. It’s crazy, alright.

    But if Madu hadn’t made such a hash of his career with that distracted driving thingy, his declaration mightn’t have garnered the attention he’s getting now: he would have looked just like the rest of them.

  14. Worth pointing out that Jason Kenney surrounded himself with cowards, sycophants, idiots, and mendicants. And then reality ensued. Insulating yourself from facts you don’t feel good about has consequences. Even talented, hardworking people need someone to tell them when they’re wrong. I don’t think Jason has been taking his vitamin reality pills for quite some time.

    1. Neil, try to imagine how Queen Dannie’s cabinet will look. (Suggestion: wait at least 2 hours after eating.)

      Kenney at least had some experience in high-level cabinet positions, and the example of Stephen Harper as taskmaster and controller-in-chief. Smith doesn’t. The Wildrose Party, that existential threat to Ed Stelmach’s premiership, simply can’t measure up. But Queen Dannie, overconfident and underinformed as always, no doubt BELIEVES, with all her heart and Ivermectin supply, that she’s just as good as Jason Kenney ever was. Read that again, and shudder.

      Lord Jason did indeed fill his cabinet with toadies. The main criterion loyalty was to The Leader. (The lack of talent and relevant experience must have limited his choices, but still….) Queen Dannie will choose her cabinet from the muddy margins of the talent pool, where the weeds grow thickest. I expect the worst.

      The only good news is, with six months to really screw things up before the election, Danielle Smith and her UCP v2.0 will have all the time they need to really alienate the people of Calgary. That’s where the next election will be decided.

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