Pat Martin

Pat Martin

Patrick "Pat" Martin (born December 13, 1955 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian politician. He has been a member of the Canadian House of Commons since 1997, representing the riding of Winnipeg Centre for the New Democratic Party.

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. He has been an executive member of the Manitoba Building Trades Council, and was part of the Winnipeg 2000 Economic Development Committee.

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. 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. He supported Bill Blaikie for the NDP leadership in 2002-03.[1]

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.[2]

Martin is an outspoken critic of the monarchy of Canada and has commented in favour of republicanism, both in parliament and in the media, citing the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Duchess of Cornwall as a reason for the change.[3]

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.[4]

In June 2008 MP Pat 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.

In 2010, Martin stated that the social-service organization Youth For Christ were "evangelical fundamentalists" who were "preying on vulnerable kids".[5] 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.[6] Spokespeople from Aboriginal organizations that work in inner-city areas have, however, noted that Youth for Christ is more evangelical than most faith-based charities and hostilely refers to non-Christians as "deniers".[7]

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     New Democrat 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%
Lyle Morrisseau 212 0.8%
     Independent Ed Ackerman 135 0.5%
     Communist Darrell Rankin 119 0.5% -0.2%
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     New Democrat 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 Democrat 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%
2000 federal election : Winnipeg Centre edit
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     New Democratic Party (x)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 Democrat 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%


  1. "Bill Blaikie deserves our support" [letter signed by 40 sitting and former NDP MPs], Globe and Mail, 13 December 2002, A25.
  2. Friscolanti, Michael, "NDP MPs say Robinson must be demoted: Manitoba premier agrees", National Post, 18 April 2002, A12.
  3. "Cheers, jeers in Ottawa greet marriage plan" by Tonda MacCharles; Toronto Star; 11 February 2005; page A6
  4. Joan Bryden, "Volpe vows to return donations if they violate spirit of law", Canadian Press, 31 May 2006, 18:19 report. Martin initially accused Volpe of deliberately orchestrating fraudulent donations, but withdrew these comments after he was threatened with a libel suit.
  5. "Pat Martin's harm turns into good" by Paul Boge; Winnipeg Sun; 22 February 2010
  6. "Pat Martin's outburst irrational" ; Winnipeg Free Press; 19 February 2010
  7. Roussin, Diane; Christensen, Tammy (February 23, 2010). . Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved September 12, 2010.