Today in Canada's Political History - April 21, 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin delivers a rare nationally televised address

  • National Newswatch

Unlike Presidents in the neighbouring United States, Canadian Prime Ministers rarely speak directly to the nation through a televised national address. But on this date in 2005, with his government shaken by Sponsorship scandal, Prime Minister Paul Martin spoke directly to Canadians. Facing the fact that opposition parties were considering bringing down his minority government, Martin pleaded for more time. He asked that the inquiry he had set up under Justice John Gomery to study the Sponsorship Program be given the chance to complete its study and report.

“I am prepared to face Canadians and have them judge my response to this serious test of leadership,” Martin said. “I will be politically accountable. But I believe that before there is an election, you are entitled to answers, the answers that Judge Gomery is working toward. I believe that Canadians deserve a full and frank accounting of all the facts. Fairness and due process require nothing less.”

“For that reason,” he continued. “I commit to you tonight that I will call a general election within 30 days of the publication of the commission’s final report and recommendations. Let Judge Gomery do his work. Let the facts come out. And then the people of Canada will have their say.”

You can watch Prime Minister Martin’s entire address at this link.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.





Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.