Prime Minister Martin’s Site with Flat Stanley

The Prime Minister of Canada

PHOTO ALBUM

My day begins at 9 a.m., when I first arrive at the office of the Honourable Paul Martin. I’m excited but a little nervous to meet the future prime minister. Judging by the hubbub, it looks like the day is well underway by the time I arrive.

Paul Martin’s special assistant, Jim Pimblett, talks with his co-workers on the phone and checks over a document, while I get to work reading dozens of email messages. I’ve already checked his day planner, which is packed – and it’s only 9:30 a.m. I think it’s going to be a long day. I hope he has time to pencil in a break!

Paul Martin starts out his morning by reading the newspaper in the comfy chair in his office. (I lost count of the number of stories with his name in them.) He told me his favourite section was the national coverage, but he did get quite a chuckle from the For Better or For Worse comic strip.

Here, I am helping out special assistant Mireille Bonnerot in Paul Martin’s Parliament Hill Office. From the early morning on, it’s non-stop action. Phones ring off the hook, members of Parliament and their staff drop by to ask for information, and countless other tasks fill the day. Behind me, you can see that the walls are covered in funny editorial cartoons from newspapers that Mr. Martin framed.

“Testing, testing, one, two, three.” Minutes before Paul Martin addresses the national media at a press conference in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, I’m seen here testing out the microphone to make sure Mr. Martin will be heard loud and clear.  At the morning press conference, reporters asked Mr. Martin all sorts of questions about his future plans and policies as Prime Minister.

Here, I take a front-row, centre seat in the National Press Theatre before reporters flood the room. During the event, Paul Martin sits before reporters and cameras, and it’s media free-for-all. Shouting out questions at the same time in both French and English, reporters are randomly pointed at by Mr. Martin to indicate it’s their turn for a response. Mr. Martin is barely finished answering their question before it starts all over again. All the while, reporters furiously scribble down notes and then rush back to their newsrooms to file the day’s stories. (I prefer the method in our classroom where we raise our hands before asking a question!)

In this photo, Paul Martin and I had just finished eating lunch. I enjoyed my sandwich and soda and used my money to buy a cookie from the Parliament cafeteria. Mr. Martin had a healthy lunch consisting of soup, sandwich, juice and coffee.

Paul Martin and I get up to stretch our legs after spending hours in a meeting. Mr. Martin and his team of advisors have only weeks to prepare to take over the Prime Minister’s Office, but they seem to be on the ball with setting it up.  On Dec. 12, Mr. Martin will be sworn-in as the 21st prime minister of Canada.

The first senior appointments in the Prime Minister’s Office were Principal Secretary Francis Fox and Chief of Staff Tim Murphy, shown here from left to right with Paul Martin. These advisors have a lot of experience with politics – both have been elected to public office – and will work closely with Mr. Martin to oversee the office and make policy.

Mike Robinson, left, and Arthur Kroeger, right, are just two of the amazing people who are helping to set-up the future Prime Minister’s Office. Here, they are seen making some revisions to a document. They took time to explain to me that Parliamentarians debate issues in the House of Commons and then vote to make them law. To find out more visit www.parl.gc.ca.

Here I get a firm handshake from David Herle, who is also helping out with the campaign. He’s been Paul Martin’s friend for a long time.

Paul Martin, his special assistant Jim Pimblett and I take the stairs to his office in the Confederation building on Parliament Hill. This is one of the buildings where many members of Parliament from across the country do their work in Ottawa. The MP representing our school’s riding (Don Valley East) is David Collenette, and his office is just across the Hill in a building called East Block. MPs also have a constituency office in their riding.

Here, I’m seen posing with a RCMP officer who is responsible for protecting Paul Martin. The role of Prime Minister is very important, and this officer was hired to take care of any of his security issues.

Paul and I pose on the couch at Rideau Hall. This is the home of Canada’s Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. The Governor General is the Queen of England’s representative in Canada. While her role is often highly symbolic, she plays a big part in the representing and promoting Canada and paying tribute to Canadians who have made a positive difference. This day, she met with Mr. Martin to officially call on him to become the next prime minister. During their discussion, I got a tour of her official residence. Tours of Rideau Hall are ongoing, so next time you’re in Ottawa you can also visit One Sussex Drive.

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