Minister Martin’s merryments

Though it was likely on everyone’s mind, the issue of federal party leadership was not discussed during one political gathering last week.

Canadian Minister of Finance Paul Martin attended a Liberal Party of Canada fundraiser on Thu.,
Nov. 1 and made no mention of a bid for the Liberal leadership during an evening that dealt with national security, economy and post secondary education.

"The number one issue to be dealt with is the need to fund national security and the ongoing campaign to eradicate terrorism," said Martin. "One of the reasons for an earlier budget was that we clearly need to focus on national security," he added, commenting on the effects the September 11 attacks on the United States will have on the upcoming federal budget. "Our borders are important economic issues and we need to maintain the free flow of commerce between countries."

In spite of the current economic slowdown, Martin was optimistic and stressed the Canadian government is working to ensure the country does not see the red.

"As quickly as slowdowns occur, recoveries occur, and we will lead the recovery and not make the mistakes of past governments," said Martin.

Although most of Martin’s speech focused on the upcoming budget, he also strongly articulated the ongoing need for funding for post-secondary education.

"I can tell you the number one priority for [the federal government] on a long-term agenda is going to be education," he said. "There is no doubt in terms of accessibility, affordability and basic infrastructure for post-secondary education, these are all areas where money has to be put."

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