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Pat Martin

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Pat Martin
Member of Parliament
for Winnipeg Centre
In office
Preceded byDavid Walker
Succeeded byRobert-Falcon Ouellette
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates
In office
5 February 2015 – 4 August 2015
MinisterDiane Finley
Preceded byPierre-Luc Dusseault
Succeeded byTom Lukiwski
In office
9 June 2011 – 24 October 2013
MinisterRona Ambrose
Diane Finley
Preceded byJohn McKay
Succeeded byPierre-Luc Dusseault
Personal details
Born (1955-12-13) December 13, 1955 (age 68)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political partyNew Democratic Party
SpouseJennifer Prince
Professioncarpenter, trade unionist

Patrick D. "Pat" Martin (born December 13, 1955, in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian politician. He was a member of the House of Commons of Canada from 1997 to 2015, 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.[1] He has been a member of the executive of the Manitoba Building Trades Council,[1] 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. 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.

He supported Bill Blaikie for the NDP leadership in 2002–03.[2]

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.[3]

Martin is an outspoken critic of the Canadian monarchy, 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 institution.[4]

In his book, Speaking Out Louder: Ideas That Work For Canadians, Jack Layton, then the Leader of the NDP, thanked Martin and his wife for loaning their Saltspring Island farmhouse for secluded writing."[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 royal arms of Canada to incorporate symbols representing Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.[7]

Martin introduced a private member's bill, C-248, in parliament to exonerate Louis Riel[8][9][10][11] On May 5, 2011 at the Royal Ontario Museum Martin debated Tom Flanagan on the topic "Louis Riel deserved to Hang".[12] 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".[13]

Maclean's ranked him as runner up for best orator in parliament in 2011 behind John Baird.[14]

On February 5, 2015, Martin stated that he would file a lawsuit against anyone who claimed he lived on Salt Spring Island. "They're going to get their asses sued," said Martin adding "I know a thing or two about libel," referring to his issue with a defamation suit, which he settled for an undisclosed sum with an Edmonton telemarketer.[15] Martin owns a hobby farm on Salt Spring Island that he bought with his former wife and currently resides in Osborne Village in the riding of Winnipeg South Centre.[15] When asked about a Salt Spring community event calendar from the local NDP association inviting people to "Come by and hear an Ottawa update from Salt Spring's unoffical [sic] MP Pat Martin,"[16] by Winnipeg Free Press journalist Mia Rabson, Martin stated that the Riding Association President "was being funny by calling him that."[17]

Within a day of the writ drop for the 2015 federal election, Martin was endorsed by the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president Alex Forrest.[18] Martin lost re-election in 2015.


Youth For Christ[edit]

In 2010, while Youth For Christ was in the development stages of building a youth centre at the corner of Higgins and Main that would include a multi-sport gym, dance studio, fitness centre, skate-and-BMX park, drop-in centre, theatre, classroom, counselling facilities and a job-training centre, Martin stated that the social-service organization were "evangelical fundamentalists" who were "preying on vulnerable kids" [19] and that the organization "offering much-needed sports opportunities is just their way of luring in young prospects."[20] Martin also stated that the Federal government and City of Winnipeg providing funding to the inner city development equated to "taxpayer-funded proselytization."[20] An article by the Winnipeg Free Press Editorial Board stated that if "the MP believes [Youth For Christ] should not receive any taxpayer money because he faithfully believes the organization is trying to convert "vulnerable, impressionable kids" to fundamentalist Christian views. If the good parliamentarian has any evidence to support his allegations, he should produce it immediately, or withdraw his comments."[21] One week after criticising the organization and facing mounting criticism, Martin said he supported the development at Higgins and Main by stating that "Anything happening in the inner city is better than nothing."[22]


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.[23] Martin refused to apologize.[24] On December 20, 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.[25]

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."[26] 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."[26]

Defamation lawsuit and donations[edit]

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.[27] Martin ended up settling the defamation lawsuit against him and publicly apologized and stated that Racknine was "merely an innocent intermediary not a participant in electoral fraud".[28] 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.[29]

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.[30] 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."[29] 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.[30]

Underwear comments in House of Commons[edit]

After standing in the House of Commons during a procedural vote, which is against protocol, Martin said that his tight underwear required him to stand.[31] The comments trended across Twitter and made international headlines including CNN’s Ridiculist.[32] Martin later admitted that the story was fabricated.[33]

Comments during 2015 federal election[edit]

During the 2015 Canadian federal election, Martin called Don Woodstock, the Green Party candidate, a "son of a bitch" and at a later time was caught calling him a "fucking prick" during a debate on issues affecting downtown Winnipeg in which Woodstock questioned Martin's record on mental health issues.[34] Martin also called Robert-Falcon Ouellette, the Liberal candidate, "full of shit" and a "political slut" for considering other parties before choosing to run for the Liberals. Martin then targeted Ouellette's wife and accused her of being afraid to venture into the riding because of fear of theft.[35] Martin later apologized for his comments.[35]

Electoral record[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Robert-Falcon Ouellette 18,471 54.51 +43.44 $78,138.26
New Democratic Pat Martin 9,490 28.01 -25.65 $104,378.44
Conservative Allie Szarkiewicz 4,189 12.36 -15.28 $32,966.82
Green Don Woodstock 1,379 4.07 -2.98 $38,782.49
Christian Heritage Scott Miller 221 0.65 $1,210.15
Communist Darrell Rankin 135 0.40 -0.19
Total valid votes/expense limit 33,885 100.00   $192,170.62
Total rejected ballots 281 0.82
Turnout 34,166 61.41
Eligible voters 55,633
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +34.59
Source: Elections Canada[36][37]
2011 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
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 +0.05
Turnout 26,203 49.02 +6
Eligible voters 53,452
2008 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 12,285 48.92 +0.5 $42,608
Conservative Kenny Daodu 5,437 21.65 +2.1 $20,177
Liberal Daniel Hurley 3,922 15.62 -8.7 $37,980
Green Jessie Klassen 2,777 11.06 +4.0 $2,733
Independent Joe Chan 226 0.90
First Peoples National Lyle Morrisseau 212 0.84
Independent Ed Ackerman 135 0.54
Communist Darrell Rankin 119 0.47 -0.2
Total valid votes/expense limit 25,113 100.00   $77,206
Total rejected ballots 227 0.90 +0.1
Turnout 25,340 43 -6
2006 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 13,805 48.4 +3.0 $58,778
Liberal Ray St. Germain 6,940 24.3 -10.4 $27,375
Conservative Helen Sterzer 5,554 19.5 +5.9 $37,740
Green Gary Gervais 2,010 7.1 +2.8 $2,651
Communist Anna-Celestrya Carr 199 0.7 +0.3 $295
Total valid votes 28,508 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 231 0.8 +0.1
Turnout 28,739 49 +4
2004 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 12,149 45.4 +4.1 $51,914
Liberal David Northcott 9,285 34.7 +0.6 $67,134
Conservative Robert Eng 3,631 13.6 -8.0 $7,572
Green Robin (Pilar) Faye 1,151 4.3 +1.7 $2,087
Marijuana John M. Siedleski 346 1.3
Communist Anna-Celestrya Carr 114 0.4 -0.1 $654
Independent Douglas Edward Schweitzer 92 0.3
Total valid votes 26,768 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 188 0.7
Turnout 26,956 45.1

Note: Conservative vote is compared to the total of the Canadian Alliance vote and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000 election.

2000 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 11,263 41.26 $55,756.93
Liberal Kevin Lamoureux 9,310 34.11 $55,979.28
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.
1997 Canadian federal election: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
New Democratic Pat Martin 10,979 40.89 $48,662
Liberal David Walker 9,895 36.86 $47,283
Reform Reginald A. Smith 3,095 11.53 $3,175
Progressive Conservative Campbell Alexander 2,442 9.10 $6,171
Independent Greg Krawchuk 148 0.55 $163
Marxist–Leninist Glenn Michalchuk 136 0.51 $11
Communist Darrell Rankin 108 0.40 $1,913
Libertarian Didz Zuzens 44 0.16 $0
Total valid votes 26,847 100.00
Rejected ballots 374
Turnout 27,221 57.00
Electors on the lists 47,753
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


  1. ^ a b "Canada Votes 2008 - Winnipeg Centre - Candidate Profiles". CBC News. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  2. ^ "Bill Blaikie deserves our support" (fee required). Globe and Mail. Toronto. December 13, 2002. section A, p. 25. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  3. ^ Friscolanti, Michael (April 18, 2002). "NDP MPs say Robinson must be demoted: Manitoba premier agrees". National Post. Toronto. section A, p. 12.
  4. ^ MacCharles, Tonda (February 11, 2005). "Cheers, jeers in Ottawa greet marriage plan". Toronto Star. section A, p. 6.
  5. ^ Layton, Jack (2011-09-13). Speaking Out Louder: Ideas That Work for Canadians. ISBN 9780771046162.
  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. ^ "Private Member's Bill C-248 (40th Parliament, 3rd Session)". LEGISinfo. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Rabson, Mia (November 17, 2010). "Riel was a hero, not a traitor". Winnipeg Free Press. section A, p. 6. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "Louis Riel 'murdered by the Crown,' MP says". CTV. November 17, 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-04-17. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  11. ^ Taber, Jane (November 16, 2010). "Correcting the record on Louis Riel and separatist coalitions". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "History Wars at the ROM: Four Debates on Canada's History". Cvltvre. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  13. ^ Pat Martin (6 May 2011). "Did Louis Riel Deserve To Hang>: A Hero Not A Traitor". National Post. Newspapers.com. p. 17. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  14. ^ Maclean's
  15. ^ a b Rabson, Mia (5 February 2015). "Feb 2015: MP fed up with 'malicious' tale". Winnipeg Free Press.
  16. ^ "Dinner with NDP MP Pat Martin - Salt Spring Community Events Calendar". Archived from the original on 2015-05-20. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  17. ^ Carlene Variyan [@carlena] (5 February 2015). ".@mrabson some folks get the idea #Winnipeg MP Pat Martin lives on Salt Spring Island when he does events like this:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Larkins, David (3 August 2015). "Voters Question Long Campaign". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Pat Martin's harm turns into good | Columnists | Opinion | Winnipeg Sun". Archived from the original on 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  20. ^ a b "Feb 2010: MP takes aim at youth centre". Winnipeg Free Press. 18 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Feb 2010: Mr. Martin's outburst irrational". Winnipeg Free Press. 19 February 2010.
  22. ^ Kives, Bartley (25 February 2010). "Feb 2010: MP gets behind Youth for Christ centre". Winnipeg Free Press.
  23. ^ "NDP MP Pat Martin's Twitter tirade takes off | Metro". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
  24. ^ "NDP MP Pat Martin not sorry after expletive-laced Twitter rant". National Post. November 17, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  25. ^ "MP Pat Martin's latest Twitter tirade - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2012-12-23.
  26. ^ a b "Abusive Twitter exchange prompts MP Pat Martin to swear off tweeting".
  27. ^ "RackNine sues Pat Martin and NDP for $5 million | CBC News".
  28. ^ "Apology on Behalf of Patrick Martin and the NDP to Mr. Matt Meier and RackNine Inc".
  29. ^ a b "MP Pat Martin received loan from NDP, donations from unions to help fund robocalls defamation suit". National Post. September 24, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Owen, Bruce (26 September 2013). "Sep 2013: Give back the money, ethics expert tells MP". Winnipeg Free Press.
  31. ^ "Pat Martin says tight underwear led him to leave seat during vote | CBC News".
  32. ^ "Ridiculist: Lawmaker blames absence on underwear - CNN Video". CNN.
  33. ^ Rabson, Mia (20 February 2015). "Feb 2015: MP admits gitch glitch a ruse". Winnipeg Free Press.
  34. ^ "Candidate wants apology, NDP to dump Pat Martin for 'son of a bitch' comment". CBC News. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  35. ^ a b Prest, Ashley (21 September 2015). "Pat Martin apologizes for 'intemperate' language". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  36. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Winnipeg Centre, 30 September 2015
  37. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates

External links[edit]