OTTAWA, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Paul Martin Friday took the oath as Canada's 21st prime minister Friday from the queen's representative, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, in Ottawa.
Martin, 65, took over from Jean Chretien, who announced his resignation in 2002 after 10 years of leading the Liberal party and country.
Martin won the leadership convention easily last Month.
Martin entered politics in 1988 after running Canada Steamship Lines and went on to become federal finance minister. During that time, Canada recorded five consecutive balanced budgets and erased a $$@$!42 billion deficit.
Martin has vowed to make government more accountable, improve relations with the United States and create stronger federal-provincial co-operation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Martin has also said he wants Canada to join Washington's controversial missile defense program.
"If there is going to be an American missile going off somewhere over Canadian airspace," he said. "I think Canada should be at the table making the decisions."