Paul Martin

Martin in 2011 Paul Edgar Philippe Martin (born August 28, 1938), also known as Paul Martin Jr., is a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the 21st prime minister of Canada and the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2003 to 2006.

The son of former secretary of state for external affairs Paul Martin Sr., Martin was a lawyer from Ontario before he became president and the chief executive officer of Canada Steamship Lines in 1973. He held that position until his election as a member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of LaSalle—Émard in 1988. Martin ran for leader of the Liberal Party in 1990, losing to Jean Chrétien. Martin would become Chrétien's longtime rival for the leadership of the party, though was appointed his minister of finance after the Liberal victory in the 1993 federal election. Martin oversaw many changes in the financial structure of the Canadian government, and his policies had a direct effect on eliminating the country's chronic fiscal deficit by drastically cutting spending and reforming various programs including social services.

In 2002, Martin resigned as finance minister when the tension with Chrétien reached its peak. Martin initially prepared to challenge Chrétien's leadership, though Chrétien announced his intention of retiring, triggering the November 2003 leadership election. Martin easily won the leadership and in the following month, became prime minister. In the 2004 federal election, the Liberal Party retained power, although only as a minority government due to the Liberal Party's sponsorship scandal that began in the late 1990s. Martin's government signed the Kelowna Accord to improve living conditions for indigenous peoples, reached an agreement with the provinces on increased funding for healthcare, and legalized same-sex marriage. In 2005, the opposition parties in the House of Commons passed a motion of no confidence contending that Martin's government was corrupt after the Gomery Commission released new details regarding the sponsorship scandal; this triggered the 2006 federal election, which saw the Liberals being defeated by the newly unified Conservative Party led by Stephen Harper, ending over 12 years of Liberal rule.

Shortly after the defeat, Martin stepped down as Liberal leader and declined to seek re-election in 2008. Evaluations of Martin's prime ministership have been mixed, whereas his tenure as finance minister is viewed more favourably. Now seen as a global diplomat, Martin continues to contribute on the international arena through a variety of initiatives such as Incentives for Global Health, the not-for-profit behind the Health Impact Fund, where he serves as a member of the advisory board. He also sits as an advisor to Canada's Ecofiscal Commission. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by McWhinney, Edward
    Published 1987
    Other Authors: “…Martin, Paul, 1903-…”
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