Paul Edgar Philippe Martin (born August 28, 1938) also known as Paul Martin, Jr., was a Canadian Liberal politician who served as President of the Republic of Canada from December 1, 1998 until his single term in office expired on November 30, 2005, and was a Cabinet official both in the Chrétien and Collenette governments and in the government-in-exile. His father, Paul Martin, Sr., was a senior official in the Blue Canadian government in Newfoundland and in the government-in-exile.
Martin was best known as leading the conservative-leaning wing of the Liberal Party, challenging Jean Chrétien in the 1991 leadership race and mulling another challenge for the leadership in 1996 after the successful Quebec independence referendum. Martin served as Minister of Finance in Chrétien's Cabinet and helped bring about structural economic reforms with the help of coalition partner Reform Party. After the 1995 referendum, Martin was left needing to win a by-election to return to parliament and was defeated in a stunning surprise in an Ottawa-area constituency by a Social Democrat, so Martin was forced out of the Cabinet and instead contested the Presidency in 1998, defeating Stockwell Day of Reform, Grace McCarthy of Social Credit, Tom Long of the Progressive Conservatives and Ed Broadbent of the Social Democratic Party.
Martin travelled profusely as President of Canada and oversaw the 2000 and 2003 general elections at the advice of his ally, David Collenette. While he was considered a potential successor to Collenette once his Presidency ended, he was irreparably damaged by an expenses scandal as President and the Liberals instead coalesced around Carolyn Bennett several months before his term was to expire, ending his ministerial ambitions permanently. He retired after his term expired on November 30, 2005. Martin was rehabilitated when Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations and later presented him with the Order of Canada, the highest-available civilian honor.