Martin, Paul, 1938- : Prime Minister of Canada (2003-2006).
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin was born at Windsor, Ontario on 28 August 1938. His father, Paul Martin Sr, was a federal cabinet minister and diplomat. He attended the University of Ottawa briefly, followed by the University of Toronto (BA 1962, LLB 1965), where he was active in the Liberal Party's youth wing.
Martin practiced law in Toronto and worked in business in Montreal, most notably for the Power Corporation of Canada, and Canada Steamship Lines, which he purchased in 1981. He entered parliament in the 1988 general election for the riding of LaSalle-Émard, which he represented until his retirement.
Martin ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1990, and then served in the environment portfolio in Jean Chrétien's shadow cabinet. He co-wrote the 1993 Liberal election platform, the 'red book,' and then joined Prime Minister Chrétien's cabinet as minister of finance (1993-2002) and minister responsible for the federal office of regional development - Quebec (1993-96). Martin left cabinet in 2002, and replaced Chrétien as party leader and prime minister the following year. He secured a minority government in the 2004 federal election. After losing the 2006 election, Martin resigned as party leader, though he retained his seat in parliament until 2008, when he left politics.
As minister of finance, Martin reduced the federal budget deficit, partly by cutting spending by government departments under 'program review' (1995), and by reducing federal transfer payments to the provinces. Meanwhile, he funded research and education by establishing the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (1997) and the Canadian Opportunities Strategy (1998). Existing benefits for families were consolidated into the Canada Child Tax Benefit (1998), though a proposal to replace old age security benefits with a Seniors Benefit was rejected by parliament (1996). Internationally, Martin promoted the expansion of the G8 group of nations into the G20 (1999).
As prime minister, Martin negotiated an agreement with the provinces on funding for healthcare (2004), financed infrastructure projects through the New Deal for Cities and Communities (2005), and legalised same-sex marriage nationally under the Civil Marriage Act (2005). He also modified the formula used to calculate equalization payments to the provinces (2004-06), and reached agreements to fund early learning and child-care programs with the provinces, but his government fell before these initiatives could be implemented (2003-05).
Martin attempted to improve Indigenous Peoples' health, education, economic opportunities and living conditions by negotiating the Kelowna Accord with provinces and territories, First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation (2005). The government fell before the accord was implemented.
Internationally, Martin created the Canada Corps to promote good governance in developing countries (2004), and signed a strategic partnership with the People's Republic of China (2005). In 2005, he redeployed Canadian military forces in Afghanistan from Kabul to Kandahar, while refusing to participate in the United States' ballistic missile defence program.
Martin established the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities, the 'Gomery Commission' (2004-06), to investigate allegations of misuse of federal funds in Quebec in what was called the 'Sponsorship Scandal.'
Martin was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2001. He married Sheila Cowan in 1965.
By negotiating the Kelowna Accord, Martin attempted to modify the federal government's relationship with Indigenous Peoples was systematically racist, which caused tremendous ongoing trauma, displacement, disenfranchisement and exclusion. Specifically, the last residential school operated until 1997, and the last day school operated until 2000. The damage done by these policies and actions has been acknowledged in recent years. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded that the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide. The prime minister of the day apologised for residential schools in 2008 and 2017. The government of the day also established compensation packages for residential school survivors (2006) and for survivors of day schools (2019).
In retirement, Martin established the Martin Family Initiative, and the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund, to provide educational and business opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. In 2014, Martin, former prime minister Joe Clark and Indigenous leaders founded Canadians for a New Partnership, to inspire Reconciliation. Martin has also worked with international organisations and national governments to promote investment, sustainable development and conservation, and the alleviation of poverty in Africa; and to promote sustainable practices in the management of the world's oceans.