Pat Martin

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This article is about the politician. For the Major League Baseball player, see Pat Martin (baseball).
For other people named Patrick Martin, see Patrick Martin (disambiguation).
Pat Martin
Pat Martin.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Winnipeg Centre
Assumed office
Preceded by David Walker
Personal details
Born (1955-12-13) December 13, 1955 (age 59)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Nationality Canadian
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Barbara Martin
Residence Winnipeg
Profession carpenter, trade unionist

Patrick "Pat" Martin (born December 13, 1955 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian politician. He has been a member of the House of Commons of Canada since 1997, representing the riding of Winnipeg Centre for the New Democratic Party. He is currently the Opposition critic for Public Works and Government Services Canada.[1]


Martin graduated from Argyle High School in 1974. He worked as a journeyman carpenter for several years, and was employed in forest service, mines and construction. Martin also served as business manager of the Manitoba Carpenters Union from 1989 to 1997, and was vice-president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour for a time.[2] He has been a member of the executive of the Manitoba Building Trades Council,[2] and was part of the Winnipeg 2000 Economic Development Committee.[citation needed]

Martin was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1997 federal election, defeating Liberal incumbent David Walker by a margin of 10,979 votes to 9,895. His riding of Winnipeg Centre, formerly known as Winnipeg North Centre, was successively represented from 1921 to 1984 by J.S. Woodsworth and Stanley Knowles, two of the most prominent social democratic politicians in Canadian history. Martin's victory over Walker returned the riding to the NDP for the first time since 1988.[citation needed] Martin was re-elected in the 2000 federal election, defeating Liberal Kevin Lamoureux by 11,263 votes to 9,310. He increased his margin of victory in the 2004 election, defeating Liberal candidate David Northcott by about 3,000 votes.

Martin has championed the rights of labour and aboriginal Canadians, and has spoken out against tax loopholes for private corporations.[citation needed] He supported Bill Blaikie for the NDP leadership in 2002-03.[3]

He called for Svend Robinson to be removed from the NDP's foreign affairs portfolio in 2002, after Robinson's controversial visit to the Palestinian Authority.[4]

Martin is an outspoken critic of the monarchy of Canada, both in parliament and in the media, citing the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Duchess of Cornwall as a reason to abolish the monarchy.[5]

When Liberal leadership candidate Joe Volpe received donations totalling $108,000 from Apotex executives and their wives and children, Martin suggested that these donations had the appearance of fraud. He filed an official complaint on May 29, asking elections commissioner Raymond Landry to investigate whether an attempt had been made to circumvent the Elections Act which banned corporate donations. Volpe responded by promising to return any donations that contravened the letter or spirit of the law.[6]

In June 2008, Martin introduced a motion into the House of Commons calling on the government to amend the coat of arms to incorporate symbols representing Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.[7]

In 2010, Martin stated that the social-service organization Youth For Christ were "evangelical fundamentalists" who were "preying on vulnerable kids".[8] This statement was made when he was stating his opposition to funding an $11 million youth center being built on Winnipeg's Main Street by the organization. The Winnipeg Free Press called Martin's comments irrational.[9]

Martin has introduced a private member's bill, C-248, in Parliament to exonerate Louis Riel [10][11][12][13] On May 5, 2011 at the Royal Ontario Museum Martin debated Tom Flanagan on the topic "Louis Riel deserved to Hang".[14] In a National Post article he argued that Riel was a hero, not a traitor and, in reference to George R. D. Goulet's 1999 book on Riel, that Riel's execution was a "case of both justice and mercy denied".[15]

On November 17, 2011, Martin was criticized for using profane language on his Twitter account expressing anger over the Conservative government's use of closure in limiting debate in the House of Commons tweeting: “This is a fucking disgrace” and “There’s not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot shit.” He also used profane language to criticize those on Twitter that had challenged his use of profanity tweeting “Fuck you” to one twitter user.[16] Martin refused to apologize.[17] On December 20th 2012, Pat Martin tweeted: I'm not 'worked up' so much as 'fed up' with the rat faced whores in the [Conservative Party of Canada] who neglect to invite me to ancemnts [sic] in my riding” and “Look...Given the parliamentary session we've just endured, the term 'rat faced whores' is using a great deal of restraint…” after not receiving an invitation to an event in his riding.[18]

After a heated exchange, Martin swore off Twitter and tweeted “I apologize for my regrettable and inappropriate language,” and “It seems some people shouldn’t tweet so with this, I sign off.” [19] An NDP spokesperson confirmed Martin’s decision stating “these comments were simply inappropriate and unacceptable,” and that “Mr. Martin agrees and we understand that he has decided to stop using his Twitter account.” [20]

Maclean's ranked him as runner up for best orator in parliament in 2011.[21]

Upon revelations about the robocall scandal in February, Martin publicly accused Racknine of being behind the automated calls that saw voters misdirected to non-existent polling locations during the May 2011 federal election. Racknine filed a defamation lawsuit for $5 million in damages. [22] Martin ended up settling the defamation lawsuit against him and publically apologized and stated that RackNine was “merely an innocent intermediary not a participant in electoral fraud”. [23] Due to the costs awarded to Racknine, Martin received a loan from the NDP and accepted donations from unions to help fund his defamation suit and pay for the settlement. Documents filed with the federal ethics commissioner showed Martin accepted contributions to a legal defence fund from the Canadian Labour Congress, the United Steelworkers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and 14 other unions or locals.[24]

Duff Conacher, founder of Democracy Watch, asked Martin to disclose the exact amount each of the two dozen organizations has donated to the trust fund set up to pay off his legal bill. “You're not allowed to be in the appearance of a conflict of interest, even if the gift does not change your mind from what you already believed. You can't have it. If you have that, you don't have democracy. You have a system of where the dollar wins and that's not democracy," said Conacher [25] Martin said it would be “ludicrous” to think the donations would influence his position on labour issues saying that “If anybody thinks I could become more friendly to trade unions, then they don’t know me very well,” adding “I’m a socialist and trade unionist and former head of the carpenters’ union in Manitoba.” [26] In two instances, the ethics commissioner directed Martin to return more than $20,000 involving donations from two unions that he had dealings with as an MP. [27]

He made international headlines when he humorously blamed his necessary departure from the House during a vote on underwear that was too tight. [28] He also made the headlines when he asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs if Canada had a plan to stop zombie invasions. [29]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 13,928 53.66% +4.74%
Conservative Bev Pitura 7,173 27.64% +5.99%
Liberal Allan Wise 2,872 11.07% -4.55%
Green Jacqueline Romanow 1,830 7.05% -4.01%
Communist Darrell Rankin 152 0.59% +0.12%
Total valid votes/Expense limit 25,955 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 248 0.95%
Turnout 26,203 49.02%
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 12,285 48.9% +0.5% $42,608
Conservative Kenny Daodu 5,437 21.7% +2.1% $20,177
Liberal Daniel Hurley 3,922 15.6% -8.7% $37,980
Green Jessie Klassen 2,777 11.1% +4.0% $2,733
Independent Joe Chan 226 0.9% --
First Peoples National Lyle Morrisseau 212 0.8% --
Independent Ed Ackerman 135 0.5% --
Communist Darrell Rankin 119 0.5% -0.2%
Total valid votes/Expense limit 25,113 100.0% $77,206
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 13,805 48.4% +3.02% $58,778
Liberal Ray St. Germain 6,940 24.3% -10.38% $27,375
Conservative Helen Sterzer 5,554 19.5% +5.94% $37,740
Green Gary Gervais 2,010 7.1% +2.81% $2,651
Communist Anna-Celestrya Carr 199 0.7% +0.27% $295
Total valid votes 28,508 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 231
Turnout 28,739
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 12,149 45.38% $51,914
Liberal David Northcott 9,285 34.68% $67,134
Conservative Robert Eng 3,631 13.56% $7,572
Green Robin (Pilar) Faye 1,151 4.29% $2,087
Marijuana John M. Siedleski 346 1.29%
Communist Anna-Celestrya Carr 114 0.42% $654
Independent Douglas Edward Schweitzer 92 0.34%
Total valid votes 26,768 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 188 0.70%
Turnout 26,956 45.08%

Canadian federal election, 2000: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Pat Martin 11,263 41.26 $55,756.93
Liberal Kevin Lamoureux 9,310 34.11 $55,979.28
     Canadian Alliance Reg Smith 3,975 14.56 $8,032.54
     Progressive Conservative Michel Allard 1,915 7.02 $1,460.02
Green Mikel Magnusson 698 2.56 $1,572.64
     Communist Harold Dyck 134 0.49 $288.78
Total valid votes 27,295 100.00
Total rejected ballots 236
Turnout 27,531 52.56
Electors on the lists 52,383
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.
Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Pat Martin 10,979 40.9%
Liberal David Walker 9,895 36.9%
Reform Reginald A. Smith 3,095 11.5%
Progressive Conservative Campbell Alexander 2,442 9.1%
Independent Greg Krawchuk 148 0.6%
Marxist–Leninist Glenn Michalchuk 136 0.5%
Independent Darrell Rankin 108 0.4%
Independent Didz Zuzens 44 0.2%
Total valid votes 26,847 100.0%


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Canada Votes 2008 - Winnipeg Centre - Candidate Profiles". CBC News. 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bill Blaikie deserves our support" (fee required). Globe and Mail (Toronto). December 13, 2002. section A, p. 25. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ Friscolanti, Michael (April 18, 2002). "NDP MPs say Robinson must be demoted: Manitoba premier agrees". National Post (Toronto). section A, p. 12. 
  5. ^ MacCharles, Tonda (February 11, 2005). "Cheers, jeers in Ottawa greet marriage plan". Toronto Star. section A, p. 6. 
  6. ^ Bryden, Joan (May 31, 2006). "Volpe vows to return donations if they violate spirit of law". Canadian Press. Martin initially accused Volpe of deliberately orchestrating fraudulent donations, but withdrew these comments after he was threatened with a libel suit. 
  7. ^ "Coat of arms ignores aboriginal people, MP says". CBC News. May 22, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  8. ^ Boge, Paul (February 22, 2010). "Pat Martin's harm turns into good". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mr. Martin's outburst irrational". Winnipeg Free Press. February 19, 2010. section A, p. 14. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Private Member's Bill C-248 (40th Parliament, 3rd Session)". LEGISinfo. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  11. ^ Rabson, Mia (November 17, 2010). "'Riel was a hero, not a traitor'". Winnipeg Free Press. section A, p. 6. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Louis Riel 'murdered by the Crown,' MP says". CTV. November 17, 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ Taber, Jane (November 16, 2010). "Correcting the record on Louis Riel and separatist coalitions". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ "History Wars at the ROM: Four Debates on Canada's History". Cvltvre. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  15. ^ Martin, Pat (May 6, 2011). "A hero, not a traitor". National Post (Toronto). Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
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  28. ^ "'Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies,' Foreign Minister John Baird tells House of Commons". British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "Canadian MP blames tight underwear for parliament exit". The National Post. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 11 march 2015.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]