Home News The Life and Times of Ambition

The Life and Times of Ambition

by Archives November 4, 2008

Paul Martin drew some interesting types when he addressed an audience Friday afternoon at Indigo Bookstore downtown. Captain Jack Sparrow was in the crowd. So was Catwoman, along with her pal the flesh-eating zombie. Then again, what can you expect on Halloween?
The former Prime Minister was promoting his new autobiography “Hell or High Water: My Life In and Out of Politics.” He answered questions from the audience for about fifteen minutes before signing copies.
Martin sat down with The Concordian following the event.
Asked what he thinks Canada can do to shield itself from the current global financial crisis, Martin replied “The current government must invest in infrastructure and create jobs. That’s not wasting money.”
Unsurprisingly Martin had sharp words for the Harper government.
“When we [Liberals] came to power, we had huge deficits and we turned that around and built up record surpluses. The [Conservative] government virtually gutted the surpluses.”
“Anyone who thinks we can solve these problems without China and India just doesn’t understand the global economy,” he said. “When I was Finance Minister, I helped to initiate the G20 of the largest economic countries and their finance ministers so that we could include countries that weren’t part of the G8. When I became Prime Minister, I tried to take that concept to the leaders level. Everyone was on board, except the United States. Now, we see President Bush holding the same kind of talks with the world’s major economies.”
“It was Canada that lead on that concept and we have to continue to lead in the world, not follow,” he emphasized.
Martin said he expects the crisis and global slowdown to last between one year to 18 months, but, he added, “Canada will come through it fairly well.”
On the current Liberal leadership race, Martin said that there were some “very strong candidates” but that the party firstly has to focus on reorganization and financing. “There also has to be a strong reach out to young Canadians. We’ve got to challenge them and engage them into politics, because ultimately that’s where change begins.”
On a lighter note, when asked on what he likes to do for a night out, Martin replied “I love to catch a hockey game.” Martin is a lifelong Habs fan.
Approximately 150 people, mostly seniors and young professionals, turned out to catch a glimpse of the man who lead Canada from December 2003 until February 2006 when he was defeated by current PM Stephen Harper.
Also in attendance at the event were MPs Pablo Rodriguez and Marc Garneau, former MP Lucienne Robillard and Senator Francis Fox.

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