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Who’s Who: The Martels

Sudbury Living Magazine November 11, 2013 Sudbury's Stories, Uncategorized No Comments on Who’s Who: The Martels


Former MPP Elie Martel and grand-daughter Sarah Hampton.


Members of the Fawcett/Martel family have a long history of community service. Norman Fawcett was elected MP for Nickel Belt for one term in 1965. He worked for CNR for 34 years and was active in the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

After his years in Ottawa, he ran for mayor of Capreol and served two terms from 1969 to 1972. He also served for many years as a councillor, and was active in numerous civic and community organizations.

Fawcett and his wife, Bea, had seven children inlcuding Gaye, who is the wife of Elie Martel, a teacher and principal, was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1967. He represented the riding Sudbury East for the next 20 years.

He was re-elected by comfortable margins in the elections of 1971, 1975, 1977, 1981 and 1985, and served as a vocal opposition member for his entire legislative career.

Elie was on the left-wing of the New Democratic Party, and was strongly supported by its trade-union base. Along with other NDP legislators from the Sudbury area, he frequently called for Inco to be nationalized to ensure natural resources remained Canadian owned.

Shortly after his retirement, Elie was named vice-chair of the Enviromental Assesment Board by Liberal Premier of Ontario David Peterson.

Elie’s daughter, Shelley, won the Valley East seat in 1987. (The riding was renamed Nickel Belt in the 1999 redistribution.) Shelly was the minister of Northern Development and Mines in Bob Rae’s government. In opposition, she was the NDP’s health and long-term care critic. She retired in 2007.

Her husband is former NDP leader Howard Hampton.  They have two children, Sarah and Jonathan.


Shelley’s cousin and Fawcett’s granddaughter Adele presented flowers to Princess Diana when she visited Sudbury in 1991.



From Northern Life March 16, 2007


Former Sudbury East MPP Elie Martel is proud of his granddaughter, Sarah Hampton. She will work as a page in the legislature for the next five weeks alongside her parents, MPPs Shelley Martel and Howard Hampton.

Politics may run in her blood, but 12-year-old Sarah Hampton isn’t sure what she’s going to be when she grows up.

She’ll get some help making up her mind over the next five weeks as she works as a page in the provincial legislature. The program is open to Grade 7 and 8 students in Ontario with good grades and an interest in current affairs.

Sarah is the daughter of Nickel Belt MPP Shelley Martel and Kenora-Rainy River MPP and Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton. Her grandfather is Elie Martel, who represented Sudbury East in the legislature from 1967 to 1987.

I like politics because you get to make bills and you’re trying to make life better for everyone,” says Sarah, a Grade 7 student at King Edward Public School in Toronto.
“But at the same time it’s kind of weird because you have to travel a lot. I have thought about what I want to do when I grown up, but I haven’t made a decision yet because I haven’t done enough to know what’s good and what’s bad.”

The girl’s nine-year-old brother, Jonathan, attends school at Orde Street Public School in Toronto.

Sarah won’t say what political party she sympathizes with. As a page, she’d get in trouble if she was caught being partisan, she says.

Her mom, Shelley, was also a page in legislature in 1976. Pages bring memos and water to MPPs during question period.

I wanted to become a page because I get such a political view at home from both of my parents,” says Sarah. “I was kind of interested in it, and I wanted to get the full story, not just from my parents’ side. I wanted to see how everything worked.”

Before becoming a page, the girl had to memorize the names and faces of every MPP in Ontario. Sarah says she’s nervous she’ll forget someone’s name at the last moment. She has to wear a uniform of plain black shoes, jacket and pants and a white shirt.

I’ve never really had a uniform like the page program does before,” she says.
“It looks interesting, but it’s probably going to be uncomfortable because it’s not normal clothes. If they catch you wearing your uniform wrong, you’ll get in trouble.”

Shelley says she’s happy her daughter is getting the opportunity to learn about provincial politics.

It’s a program that gives students an idea of what goes on in the assembly and how the committees work and how the debate is structured,” she says.

Even though Sarah understands understands a lot of our work in the riding, because that’s what she sees, that is different from the work at Queen’s Park.”

The MPP says it will seem a bit strange to have her daughter in the legislature, but other MPPs’ kids have also worked as pages – including the children of Bud Wildman and Tony Martin.

For more information about the legislative page program, go to and click on the legislative page program link in the learning and teaching section.


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