Charles Sousa

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The Honourable
Charles Sousa
CS Headshot 4.jpg
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Mississauga South
Assumed office
October 10, 2007
Preceded by Tim Peterson
Personal details
Born (1958-09-27) September 27, 1958 (age 58)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Zenaida Sousa
Children 3
Residence Clarkson, Mississauga, Ontario
Alma mater Wilfrid Laurier University (B.B.A.)
The University of Western Ontario (M.B.A.)
Occupation Politician

Charles Sousa (born September 27, 1958) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. Charles Sousa is currently the Minister of Finance for Ontario. He is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2007. He represents the riding of Mississauga South. He has served in Cabinet in the governments of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


Sousa grew up in Mississauga. He graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1982 with a degree in Business Administration. In 1991, he completed a fellowship at the Institute of Canadian Bankers. He then earned an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 1994. He worked at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Financial Group for more than 20 years, primarily as Director Commercial Banking and Director Marketing RBC Dominion Securities. Prior to working with RBC, he owned and operated a factoring company that offered asset base financing to small businesses.

Sousa has been a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, a director with the United States Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Toronto Board of Trade. In 2003, he was appointed to represent Canada as a director to the International Chamber of Commerce. He is a past president of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business & Professionals and member of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto (EUCOCIT). He was also an ambassador for the Credit Valley Hospital Foundation and an honorary chair of the Rainbow Ball Foundation.

In 2003, Sousa received a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service to the community. In 2009, he was inducted as a Commander (Comendador) to the Order of Merit (Portugal), and in 2012 he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015, Sousa was also ranked as nobleman to the Confraria Port Wines. He lives in Clarkson with his wife Zenaida and their three children.


Sousa ran against sitting Mississauga South MP Paul Szabo for the federal Liberal nomination in 2004, but was defeated in a tightly fought but amicable campaign.[1] He ran for the federal Liberal nomination in Mississauga—Erindale in 2006 but was defeated as well.[2] He served as one of 29 co-chairs for future PC leader John Tory's campaign for mayor of Toronto in the 2003 election, being part of the leadership of the group "Grits for Tory."[3]

Sousa won the riding in the 2007 provincial election, defeating incumbent Tim Peterson. Formerly a Liberal, Peterson had crossed the floor in March 2007 to join the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC Party). Analysts had expected the vote to be extremely close, but Sousa ultimately won the riding with 46.8 per cent of the popular vote, a margin of just over 5,000 votes more than Peterson.[4] He was re-elected in 2011 and 2014.[5][6]

He was appointed as a Parliamentary assistant to three different ministries before Dalton McGuinty promoted him to cabinet in 2010 as Minister of Labour.[7] In October 2011, he was moved to the position of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.[8] He was also made minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games.[9]

In 2008, Sousa introduced a private member's bill to track and report industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste.[10] He also introduced a private member's resolution to improve Financial literacy education amongst youth.[11] He also facilitated passage of the Payday Loans Act to protect Ontario consumers against predatory lending.[12]

In 2011, he introduced and passed Bill 160 – the Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act to create a Chief Prevention Officer and a new prevention council within Ontario's Ministry of Labour.[13] He also introduced and received unanimous support for Bill 181, the Fire Protection and Prevention Amendment Act (2011), addressing protection for Ontario firefighters and duty of fair representation.[14]

In November 2012, he resigned from his cabinet positions in order to contest the 2013 Liberal leadership convention to choose McGuinty's successor.[15] Sousa came in fifth place with 9.8% of the vote on the second ballot after which he withdrew to endorse Kathleen Wynne who went on to win the leadership of the party and the title of Premier of Ontario.[16]

In February 2013, when Wynne officially took over as Premier, she named Sousa as her Minister of Finance.[17] In May 2013, Sousa also assumed the role of Management Board Chair when Harinder Takhar suffered a minor heart attack.[18]

Minister of Finance[edit]

As Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa developed four deficit budgets and one balanced budget, including: 2013’s A Prosperous & Fair Ontario; 2014’s Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future; 2015’s Building Ontario Up, 2016’s Jobs for Today and Tomorrow, 2017's A Stronger, Healthier Ontario, and corresponding Fall Economic Statements. In 2014 and in 2017, Sousa also tabled a Long Term Report on the Ontario Economy. He is leading Ontario’s biggest shakeup to beverage alcohol retailing since Prohibition ended in 1927, having introduced beer and cider to grocery stores, and soon, wine.[19]

Sousa spearheaded Ontario’s leadership on increasing personal contributions and benefits to the Canadian Pension Plan, which ultimately led to a national agreement in principle to enhance the Canada Pension Plan. The Government of Ontario previously intended on introducing a provincial pension plan if the CPP was not expanded.[20] He has also led the establishment of the Cooperative Capital Markets [21]Regulator.[22]

Under Minister Sousa’s mandate, the Trillium Trust was put in place to support the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history: $160 billion over 12 years, supporting 110,000 jobs across the province every year.[23]

In February 2016, Sousa claimed the government intends to balance the $137 billion budget in 2017-18 following nine consecutive deficits for the province.[24] Most recently, the 2016 Budget announced an improved deficit target of 4.3 billion in 2016-17, a return to balance in 2017-18 and continued balance in 2018-19.[25] Since Sousa became Finance Minister in 2013 the provincial net debt has risen from $252.1 billion[26] to $305.2 billion.[27]

In June 2016, Sousa, through negotiations with the federal Ministry of Finance and other provinces, signed a deal to replace the planned ORPP with an enhanced CPP, The Ontario government, along with other provinces, had been pushing for an enhanced CPP since 2013, quoting studies showing that middle-class Canadians were not saving enough for retirement.[28] The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not want to discuss the idea. That lack of co-operation from Ottawa prompted Wynne to promise the ORPP, but she emphasized Ontario would abandon that plan if a deal to enhance the CPP could be reached.[29]

In November 2016, Sousa announced plans to create a new regulator in the province to consolidate and strengthen oversight of credit unions, mortgage brokers, provincial pension plans and provincially registered insurers. The creation of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) was a key recommendation of an expert panel on financial regulation convened by the Ontario government.

In April 2017, Sousa released the 2017 Ontario Budget. As his government promised when elected in 2014[30], the budget was the Ontario's first balanced budget since the 2008 global recession.  The budget announced new government initiatives like free prescription medications for everyone 24 and under (dubbed OHIP+), free tuition for 210,000+ postsecondary students, a %25 cut to energy bills via the Fair Hydro Plan, housing affordability measures through the Fair Housing Plan, the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit and increased investment for healthcare and education.[31] Included in the budget, but announced previously, were initiatives like a plan to study basic income with pilot projects in 3 cities, and a pledge to open 100,000 new child-care spaces with a quarter of those spots set to open in 2017.[32]

As Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa has the following agencies under his direct report: Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Financial Services Tribunal, Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation, Ontario Financing Authority, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the Ontario Securities Commission.

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Harinder Takhar Management Board Chair
Deb Matthews
Dwight Duncan Minister of Finance
Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Eric Hoskins Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Also Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games
Michael Chan
Peter Fonseca Minister of Labour
Linda Jeffrey

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Sousa 22,192 50.76% +0.05%
Progressive Conservative Effie Triantafilopoulos 14,514 33.2% -2.89%
New Democratic Boris Rosolak 4,649 10.63% +0.57%
Green Lloyd Jones 1,418 3.24% +1.1%
None of the Above Andrew Weber 591 1.35% -
LTN James Judson 355 0.81% -
Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Sousa 20,375 50.7% +3.9%
Progressive Conservative Geoff Janoscik 14,499 36.1% +1.7%
New Democratic Anju Sikka 4,044 10.1% +1%
Green Cory Mogk 860 2.1% -6.7%
Freedom Mark Harris 236 0.59  
Vegan Environmental Paul Figueiras 165 0.41  
Total valid votes 40,179 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 178 0.44
Turnout 40,357 51.25
Eligible voters 78,746
Liberal hold Swing +1.12
Source: Elections Ontario[33]
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Sousa 19,195 46.8% +3.0%
Progressive Conservative Tim Peterson 14,114 34.4% -8.8%
New Democratic Ken Cole 3,745 9.1% -0.7%
Green David Johnston 3,627 8.8% +6.4%
Family Coalition Samantha Toteda 345 0.8% -0.6%


  1. ^ "Kiss and make up; Dear Editor". The Mississauga News. April 23, 2004. 
  2. ^ Wilkes, Jim (December 2, 2005). "Parrish urges candidate to 'be careful' in politics". Toronto Star. p. B07. 
  3. ^ Cowan, James (March 29, 2003). "John Tory names his 29 co-chairs: Layton's seat, Mel's chair". National Post. p. TO3. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 9 (xviii). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  6. ^ "General Election by District: Mississauga South". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on September 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ Chin, Joseph (December 16, 2010). "Sousa appointed Minister of Labour". Mississauga News. p. 1. 
  8. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Toronto Star. October 21, 2011. p. A18. 
  9. ^ "Canada Ready to Accept Pan American Games Flag". Canada NewsWire. October 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ Le, Julia (October 10, 2008). "MPP makes garbage his business". Mississauga News. p. 1. 
  11. ^ Le, Julia (October 9, 2009). "MPP pushes for financial literacy for youth". Mississauga News. p. 1. 
  12. ^ Stewart, John (April 1, 2008). "MPP applauds payday loan crackdown". Mississauga News. p. 1. 
  13. ^ Talaga, Tanya (March 4, 2011). "Legislation for safer workplaces introduced". Toronto Star. p. A8. 
  14. ^ "Bill 181, Fire Protection and Prevention Amendment Act, 2011". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. June 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sousa officially launches Ontario Liberal leadership campaign". Mississauga News. November 10, 2012. p. 1. 
  16. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob; Brennan, Richard (January 27, 2013). "Wynne triumphs, makes history: Opponents deliver victory for 'spectacular' candidate". Toronto Star. p. A1. 
  17. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Waterloo Region Record. Kitchener, Ont. February 12, 2013. p. A3. 
  18. ^ Morrow, Adrian (May 9, 2013). "Illness forces Takhar to quit Wynne's cabinet". The Globe and Mail. p. A19. 
  19. ^
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  21. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-06-21.  External link in |title= (help)
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  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-06-14.  External link in |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Ontario scrapping pension plan after making deal to enhance CPP: Charles Sousa". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  30. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's Liberals win majority government | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  31. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-06-21.  External link in |title= (help)
  32. ^ "Ontario budget 2017: The facts, figures and changes you need to know". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-21. 
  33. ^ Elections Ontario (2011). "Official return from the records / Rapport des registres officiels - Mississauga South" (PDF). Retrieved 3 June 2014. 

External links[edit]