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The City of Sault Ste. Marie


2015 Medal of Merit Award Recipient

January 05, 2016

The Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit Selection Committee is pleased to announce Tony Martin as the recipient of the 2015 Medal of Merit Award.

Mayor Christian Provenzano remarks, "Tony Martin has, unequivocally, made an outstanding contribution to our community. Beyond representing Sault Ste. Marie for 20 years as a provincial and federal parliamentarian, Tony has worked hard to be a voice for those that are marginalized or less fortunate. He was instrumental in founding the Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen and in organizing community initiatives, particularly in the Gore Street and Jamestown areas. I congratulate Tony for this well-earned honour and thank the Committee for its work this year."

The City of Sault Ste. Marie awards the Medal of Merit annually to persons or groups in recognition of outstanding achievement in the areas of athletics, culture or academics, or those who have made outstanding contributions to the community.

The Medal of Merit Selection Committee consists of: Mayor Christian Provenzano, His Honour Justice Romuald Kwolek, Jack Ostroski, Dionne Elgie, and Mark McPherson.

Tony Martin receives the 2015 Medal of Merit Award for his outstanding contribution to the Sault Ste. Marie community over a period of several years


Tony Martin has been awarded the 2015 Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit for his outstanding contribution to the Sault Ste. Marie community over a period of several years.

Tony was born in County Louth, Ireland, and immigrated with his family to Canada, settling in Wawa, Ontario.

In 1974, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Laurentian University, followed by a diploma in Recreational Leadership from Confederation College.

From 1981 to 1990, Tony worked as a pastoral assistant and in a variety of outreach capacities with Blessed Sacrament Parish. In 1983, he helped co-found the Blessed Sacrament Soup Kitchen, which later evolved into the Soup Kitchen Community Centre. For a time, Tony was the owner and General Manager of Transcend Homes, a local workers' cooperative.

A devout Roman Catholic, he also served as a trustee on the Northern District Catholic School Board.

Tony Martin was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 2003, representing the riding of Sault Ste. Marie for the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP).

In 2004, he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the federal NDP and served close to seven years. He held critic portfolios in areas that included: poverty, social development, social policy, child care and persons with disabilities. Tony authored bill C-545, a private member's bill to eradicate poverty.

After 20 years as a parliamentarian, Tony's political career concluded in 2011. After returning to the Sault, he became a director on the board of the Soup Kitchen Community Centre.

He also became a part-time instructor - teaching courses in the Community, Economic, and Social Development program at Algoma University. In addition to teaching, he completed an MBA in Community Economic Development from the University of Cape Breton in 2013 and undertook course work through the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In August 2015, Tony was awarded a lifetime membership by the United Steelworkers District 6 organization.

Tony and his wife Anna have four children.
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