Premier Kenney must hold cabinet members to account
Minister Madu’s disingenuously partisan comments spread division and anger when unity and hope is most needed.
The Alberta Party calls on the Premier to remove the Minister from his cabinet post.
This is not the first time the Minister’s actions have been intensely political and misleading. As Minister of Municipal Affairs, he subjected municipalities to relentless political attacks. He pretended provincial budget cuts wouldn’t affect municipal budgets. And his taxpayer-funded spokesperson personally attacked Councillors who dared to speak out. He was far more interested in berating other elected officials than in working to make his own government better.
We had hoped a shuffle would give the Minister a chance to reset and re-evaluate his approach. But it has only emboldened him.
Yesterday, Minister Madu said something that is truly disturbing. He suggested the Alberta Opposition, the Federal government, and media want our medical system to be overwhelmed. That they want to "see Albertans in field and make-shift hospitals gasping for breathe (sic) because we have ran out of ventilators, manpower, etc."
This is a fundamental disconnect from reality, assuming the partisan motives of his opponents are so intense that lives matter less than poll numbers and headlines. There is no reason to believe the parties Minister Madu attacked want Albertans to die lonely, painful deaths. In fact, they've often been critical of the UCP government for not doing enough, in their minds, to protect the health of Albertans.
Acting Leader Jacquie Fenske:
“Two sentences after hurling these vicious, unfounded accusations, the Minister called for ‘calm, patience, and cooperation.’ This is rank hypocrisy. Calm, patient cooperation isn’t possible in a political climate defined by hostility and gaslighting. And no member of Jason Kenney’s Cabinet has done more than Minister Madu to ramp up partisan rhetoric and stifle healthy, honest, democratic debate."
In a free and democratic society, opposition parties and the media have a crucial role to play. The government should demonstrate accountability and communicate to them, not project the most vile of motives on fellow Albertans.
The loudest calls of all have been for leadership, and a key element of displaying leadership is being honest and willing to bring those with different viewpoints together. The Premier has failed at this, and in doing so has inspired the same leaderless politicking from his ministers. Trust must be rebuilt and a good first step would be holding his Minister accountable.
To address this pandemic, all levels of government have a role to play. Our provincial government should be focused on working with the federal government wherever possible. And on providing meaningful, effective pushback when warranted. Making despicable and baseless attacks undermines the province's ability to work with Ottawa while holding it accountable.
In a province that values the rule of law, a Justice Minister who can be trusted is crucial. We cannot afford to have a Justice Minister who has a casual association with truth.