GUELPH Ontario May 21, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - Paul Martin, Canada’s 21st prime minister, a global diplomat and an advocate for aboriginal issues, will receive the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award May 29 from the University of Guelph.
Presented annually by Guelph’s College of Management and Economics (CME), the award recognizes exemplary and dedicated Canadian leaders whose careers have included groundbreaking, socially significant pursuits.
U of G’s highest leadership award was created in 2006 to honour the late Lincoln Alexander, who served as Guelph’s chancellor for an unprecedented 15 years.
Past recipients include Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; Rick Hillier, retired Canadian general and former chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Forces; and Frank McKenna, former New Brunswick premier and Canadian ambassador to the United States.
This year’s award recognizes Martin’s leadership, his dedication to aboriginal issues and reform, and his national and global outreach work.
"I am delighted to recognize Paul Martin for his courageous and inspirational leadership, especially in indigenous issues,” said Julia Christensen Hughes, dean of CME.
“Not only has Mr. Martin kept the spotlight on the treatment of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada's residential school system, but he has also advocated for and supported entrepreneurial skill development opportunities for aboriginal youth."
Martin will take part in a question-and-answer session after a dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Cutten Fields.
After succeeding Jean Chrétien as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Martin became prime minister on Dec. 12, 2003, and served until 2006. Known as an exceptional leader, he lowered taxes and increased funding for education and research. He worked to improve the health-care system and established a national early learning and child-care program.
Under his leadership, the Canadian government approved the historic Kelowna Accord, which sought to eliminate gaps between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians. He continues to advocate for educational reform through the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative.
As minister of finance from 1993 to 2002, he helped eliminate the country’s fiscal deficit by reforming programs including social services.
He served as the Member of Parliament for LaSalle-Émard in Montreal from 1988 to 2008.
Martin has advised the International Monetary Fund and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, and chairs the Congo Basin Forest Fund, which addresses poverty in 10 African nations.