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’ G-20 in 1999.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Mr. Martin set in place a ten year, forty-one billion dollar 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 Aboriginal people of Canada to eliminate the existing funding gaps in health, education and housing known as the Kelowna Accord.
After leaving politics, Mr. Martin founded the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative focusing on elementary and secondary education for Aboriginal students and the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund, an investment fund investing in Aboriginal business.
Internationally, he is chairman of the Congo Basin Forest Fund, a 200 million dollar British-Norwegian-Canadian poverty alleviation and sustainable development fund for the ten-nation Congo Basin Rainforest. He sits on the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, sponsored by the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. Mr. Martin is also a commissioner for the Global Ocean Commission.
Before entering politics, he had a distinguished career as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The CSL Group Inc., the largest self-unloading shipping company in the world. Its acquisition by Mr. Martin in 1981 represented the most important leveraged buyout in Canada at that time.
Mr. Martin studied philosophy and history at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.