CBC Digital Archives

Prime Minister Martin's first year in office

It's the top office in Canada, and the person holding it can often seem larger than life. Typically, a prime minister communicates with the public via press conference or scripted speech. But when a Canadian prime minister sits down with a CBC journalist in a more intimate setting for an in-depth chat, we get a better picture of what that prime minister is really like. CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a selection of one-on-one interviews with Canadian prime ministers, from Louis St-Laurent to Stephen Harper.

media clip
It's been one year on the job for Prime Minister Paul Martin and he's sitting down with CBC-TV's Peter Mansbridge for a one-on-one interview. What does Martin see as the highlight of his first year in power? "Oh, I think it's the health accord," says Martin. And the low point? "Obviously, there were the rough patches at the beginning of the year," he says, referring to the sponsorship scandal that rocked his party. In this 2004 interview, Martin also discusses the hot-button issues of child care, the economy and same-sex marriage.
• Born in Windsor, Ont., on Aug. 28, 1938, Paul Martin (a Liberal) became prime minister on Dec. 12, 2003 and remained in office until Feb. 6, 2006.

• Many of the issues Martin discussed in this interview ended up being defining issues of his time as prime minister. For instance, legislation legalizing same-sex marriage was passed into law as Bill C-38 in July 2005, making Canada only the fourth country in the world to have legalized gay marriage at that point (since then, six other countries have gone on on to legalize same-sex marriage). And Martin's government put together a comprehensive national daycare plan that he expected to be fully implemented by 2010, but the plan was nixed by the Conservatives when Stephen Harper came into power in 2006.
Medium: Television
Program: Mansbridge One on One
Broadcast Date: Dec. 18, 2004
Guest(s): Paul Martin
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Duration: 21:40

Last updated: April 30, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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