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Paul Martin Receives Honorary Doctorate from Carleton University
Carleton University today conferred an honorary degree on The Right Honourable Paul Martin in recognition of his leadership in the Canadian government.
In his address, Martin discussed the great challenges facing new graduates, specifically focusing on Indigenous issues and the climate change crisis.
“Your generation will be defined by global warming,” said Martin. “This is the battle that lies ahead. This is your challenge. And I know you are up for it, and I know this because you are here today, graduating from this great university.”
Martin was honoured with a Doctor of Laws during Carleton’s Spring Convocation, where more than 4,800 students are receiving degrees over the course of five days.
“Mr. Martin’s name and myriad accomplishments are no doubt very familiar to many people assembled here today — and to many people in this city, across our country and across the world,” said Yaprak Baltacioğlu, chancellor.
Martin was prime minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and finance minister from 1993 to 2002, where he erased Canada’s deficit and recorded five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt and setting Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a steady downward track.
Before entering politics, Martin had a long career in the private sector. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College and Faculty of Law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.
In 1999, as co-founder, he served as inaugural chair for three years of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
As prime minister, Martin set in place a plan to improve health care and reduce wait times. He also signed agreements with the provinces and territories to establish the first national early learning and childcare program.
Under Martin’s leadership, the federal government reached a historic consensus with the 2006 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education and housing after an 18-month consultation process involving Canada’s provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, Métis Nation and Inuit leaders.
After leaving public life, Martin advised the African Development Bank and has worked closely with the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa. He was also a founding co-chair of the Congo Basin Forest Fund and a Commissioner for the Global Ocean Commission.
In 2009, Martin joined members of his family to create the Martin Family Initiative. Its mission is to walk alongside Indigenous experts, communities and leaders to ensure that opportunities for Indigenous children are abundant and culturally appropriate.
In 2012, he was appointed Companion to the Order of Canada
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