Joseph Martin (Canadian politician)

Joseph Martin (* September 24, 1852 in Milton, Ontario, † March 2, 1923 in Vancouver ) was a Canadian politician, teacher, lawyer and journalist. He is one of the most controversial politicians of Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Martin was a member in the parliaments of the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia, in the Canadian House of Commons and in the House. From 28 February to 15 June 1900 he was Prime Minister of the Province of British Columbia, his term of three and a half months is the shortest ever.

Early life

Martin moved in 1865 with his family to Michigan. There he worked in non-school hours in a telegraph office. In 1872 he entered the State Teachers' Training College in Ypsilanti one, led his teacher training continues in Toronto and in 1874 ruled there for disorderly behavior from the teacher training college. Martin had a pugnacious character and tended to discharge disagreements with their fists, earning him the nickname Fighting Joe ( " Fighting Joe " ) earned.

Despite the exclusion he could teach for three years in Ottawa. In 1877 he enrolled at the University of Toronto, but abandoned his studies after two years starting. After that he was in a suburb of Ottawa rector of a school. In 1881 he married and settled in the following year with his wife in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He had studied at evening classes law, passed his bar examinations and opened a law firm.


Soon, Martin became interested in the province of politics. He joined the Liberal Party and was elected as an MP for the constituency of Portage la Prairie in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in January 1883. In opposition, Martin took a leading role, he criticized Prime Minister John Norquay and the monopoly of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the west. In January 1888 Thomas Greenway formed a new government and appointed Martin to the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Railways.

1890 brought a Martin a bill which provided for to withdraw the French language its status as an official language and no longer support Catholic schools financially. Although the law against the Manitoba Act violated him the Provincial Parliament adopted, which is a legal controversy triggered. More than five years the courts sat apart with the Manitoba school question.

Federal policy

At the general election in March 1891, Martin ran unsuccessfully for the seat in the constituency of Selkirk. When Hugh John Macdonald, son of Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald resigned, Martin was a candidate in the by-election in Winnipeg for his seat and won by acclamation. In the House he did not fit so well into the Liberal Party. His ideas of free trade were not a majority and the French-Canadian MPs despised him because of his role he had played in the Manitoba school question. At the general election in June 1896, Martin lost his seat again at Macdonald.

British Columbia

In 1897, Martin in Vancouver down and opened a law office there. In July 1898 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The political system of the province was characterized by very unstable and numerous changes of government because of the absence of political parties. After John Herbert Turner, who represented the interests of business corporations, resigned in August 1898, was Charles Augustus Zemun new prime minister and appointed Martin to the Attorney General.

Again Martin made ​​for controversy. He led the resistance against the mine owners an eight-hour day and passed a law that forbade Chinese to acquire land. The federal government has taken action to make legislative Martins reversed. At a public hearing on the matter, he criticized the provincial government sharply and brought them finally to case.

On February 28, 1900 Martin was himself Prime Minister. During the elections on June 9, 1900, neither his group nor those around Zemun reached a majority. A week later, on June 15, Martin was fired by Lieutenant Governor Thomas Robert McInnes. He went back into opposition and lost in the elections of October 1903 his seat in 1907, he founded the newspaper Vancouver Guardian. At the general election in 1908, Martin joined Vancouver as an independent candidate, the election but could not.

Great Britain

1909 Martin moved to the UK and settled in London. He joined the Liberal Party and was elected as an MP for the constituency of St. Pancras in the General Election 1910. Because of World War I took the legislature until 1918. Martin but returned in 1914 returned to Canada and was orphaned his British parliamentary seat.

Just arrived back in Vancouver, he was a candidate for the office of mayor, but without success. In 1916 he founded the newspaper Evening Journal. He also had no success when he took in the provincial elections in October 1920 for the Asiatic Exclusion League, which is to oppose the immigration of Asians.