Former prime minister Paul Martin applauds after his official portrait was unveiled during a ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, May 11, 2016. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)"Parliament is important," Martin told a room filled with family, MPs, cabinet ministers and current and former Liberal staffers, but without the presence of Chretien. "And I believe if Canadians are to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead in this ever-changing world, they will have to be presented with the choices before them," he said. "And that means that Parliament must reclaim centre stage as the place where those choices are made." Wyse had to make his own choices as he attempted to capture Martin's essence with a brush. The portrait of Martin unveiled Wednesday was actually the second one that Wyse completed. The first one sits in his private collection because it didn't properly convey the image of Martin that he was trying to capture, said the artist.
"There was a lot of things that we discussed that we wanted to have included in the portrait," Wyse explained. "But taking a moment and thinking about (the first portrait), it was kind of like rearranging the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to get a better fit." Martin used the unveiling to lament the failure of the previous Conservative government to formally adopt the Kelowna Accord, which aimed to improve the health and well-being of Canada's indigenous peoples. "Had the accord been honoured, I believe we would have lived a very different decade," said Martin. "But since 2006, too little has changed. The unfairness was allowed to persist, and time marched on," the former PM said before congratulating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his actions to rebuild the federal government's relationship with First Nations communities.
"But since 2006, too little has changed. The unfairness was allowed to persist, and time marched on."
Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan, former prime minister Paul Martin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau share a laugh during a ceremony unveiling an official portrait of Martin, May 11, 2016. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
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