Former Prime Minister Paul Martin Gives Lecture to Trent Politics Class
January 1, 2007
On January 18, a small group of Trent politics students got the chance of a lifetime when the Right Honourable Paul Martin, the former Prime Minister of Canada, came to talk one-on-one with their class.
This exciting educational opportunity was organized by Andy Mitchell, associate professor at Trent University and former Liberal cabinet minister under Mr. Martin. He invited Mr. Martin to be a guest lecturer to his fourth-year politics class in Canadian public policy. Mr. Martin’s lecture focused on addressing the various influences on the development of public policy. Specifically, he focused on issues outside of Canada’s border, citing examples from his political career such as the Mexican peso crisis, Mad Cow disease, September 11, and the SARS crisis. Following the lecture, there was a 30 minute question and answer period for students to discuss various political issues with Mr. Martin.
"It’s more fun to come to a university than anywhere else," remarked Mr. Martin. "You know that debate will continue to go on after you leave." He went on to praise Trent for its academic prominence in the field of Indigenous studies, especially its role developing Canada’s only Ph.D. program in Indigenous Studies. The plight of Canada’s Aboriginal people is a situation Mr. Martin remains passionate about.
Fourth-year student Devon Paul, who also leads Trent’s NDP Association, was delighted to have an opportunity to meet one of Canada’s foremost politicians up close and personal. "I’m a political junkie. I was thrilled when I learned that Paul Martin was going to be joining our class as a guest lecturer. It was gutsy for him to come to Trent," he said.
Fellow classmate Jessica Grover found Mr. Martin’s lecture both educational and enlightening. "I thought he was really honest. He presented a side of himself that was different than what you see in the media. It was great to actually have someone validate what we talk about in class. It’s impressive to have a professor with such strong connections provide us with an opportunity to interact with a real life political figure."
According to Ms. Grover, the chance to have one-on-one time with a former Canadian Prime Minister reflects the strength of the Trent experience. "Trent is a small, intimate environment which makes small, intimate encounters like this possible."back