The Right Honourable Paul Martin was prime minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and minister of finance from 1993 to 2002.
During his tenure as minister of finance, he erased Canada’s deficit, subsequently recording five consecutive budget surpluses, while paying down the national debt and setting Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a steady downward track. He was the inaugural chair of the finance ministers’ G20 in 1999. He also introduced the largest tax cuts in Canadian history and the largest increases in the federal government’s support for education, and research and development. In conjunction with his provincial counterparts, he restored the Canada Pension Plan, securing it for future generations. He also strengthened the regulations governing Canada’s financial institutions, with the result that Canada is now viewed as an international model for sound financial regulation.
During his tenure as prime minister, he set in place a 10-year, $41-billion plan to improve health care and reduce wait times, signed agreements with the provinces and territories to establish the first national early learning and child-care program, and created a new financial deal for Canada’s municipalities. Under his leadership, the Canadian government reached an historic deal with the Indigenous peoples of Canada to eliminate the existing funding gaps in health, education and housing known as the Kelowna Accord.