The Right Hon. Paul Martin served as Canada’s Prime Minister from 2003 to 2006. As Prime Minister, Mr. Martin succeeded in establishing plans to improve health care, reduce wait times, and nationalize early learning and childcare programs. He also reached a historic consensus with the 2005 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education, housing, and clean water for Indigenous people.
During his term as Minister of Finance, from 1993 to 2002, Mr. Martin erased Canada’s deficit and recorded five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt. He was a Member of Parliament for the riding of Lasalle-Émard from 1988 to 2008.
In 1999, as co-founder of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, he served as its inaugural chair and continued in that position for 3 years.
In 2008, he and his family founded the Martin Family Initiative, a charitable organization focused on bridging gaps by weaving Indigenous knowledge together with the most current research and evidence-informed methods. MFI is committed to improving education, health and the overall well-being of Indigenous children and youth in Canada.
Before entering politics, Mr. Martin had a long career in the private sector. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s St. Michael's College and from the University’s law school. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.
In 2012, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.
He is married to Sheila Ann Cowan, and they have three sons and five grandchildren.
Mr. Martin will deliver the keynote address at Convocation. “At Acadia, students are taught to innovate, to create, and to master a storm,” he says. “Whatever you do – if you’re a professor, an artist, a computer scientist, a researcher – you must push for global cooperation.”