Deb Matthews

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Deb Matthews
Deb Matthews - Creative Commons Global Summit 2017 (34193824321) (cropped).jpg
Matthews speaking at the 2017 Creative Commons Global Summit
10th Deputy Premier of Ontario
In office
February 11, 2013 – January 17, 2018
Monarch Elizabeth II
Premier Kathleen Wynne
Lieutenant Governor David Onley
Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Preceded by Dwight Duncan
Succeeded by Christine Elliott
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Dianne Cunningham
Succeeded by Terence Kernaghan
Constituency London North Centre
Personal details
Born Deborah Drake Matthews
(1953-11-02) November 2, 1953 (age 64)[1]
London, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Residence London, Ontario

Deborah Drake Matthews is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. She was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2003 to 2018 who represented the riding of London North Centre. Matthews served as a cabinet minister in the governments of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


Matthews was born in London, Ontario. She is the third of nine children born to Donald Jeune Matthews, former president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Her mother is Joyce Eleanor Matthews, and her sister is Shelley Peterson, the wife of former Ontario Premier David Peterson.[2]

She graduated from St. George’s Public School and A.B. Lucas Secondary School. She studied at the University of Western Ontario where she earned a PhD in social demography. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled the "Consequences of immigrant concentration in Canada, 2001–2051."[3] She worked at a number of positions in private business and also taught at the University of Western Ontario. Matthews was honoured twice on the University Students' Council Teaching Honour Roll at the University of Western Ontario.


Matthews has been involved in the Liberal Party since 1975, when she helped run Peterson's campaign in the old riding of London Centre. She co-chaired the Liberal Party's provincial campaigns in the elections of 1987 and 1995. Matthews was elected as President of the Ontario Liberal Party in 2003 and held the post until resigning in late 2006.

In the 2003 election, Matthews defeated Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Dianne Cunningham by almost 7,000 votes.[4]

On October 23, 2003, she was appointed parliamentary assistant to Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Community and Social Services.

In the 2007 election, Matthews defeated Progressive Conservative Rob Alder by over 10,000 votes.[5] She was appointed as the Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues after the election.[6]

On December 4, 2008, Matthews introduced Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy as chair of the Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction. The long-term reduction plan set a target to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over 5 years.

On October 7, 2009, Matthews was named Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to replace David Caplan.

In the 2011 election, Matthews defeated Progressive Conservative Nancy Branscombe by over 6,000 votes.[7] She was reappointed as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on October 20, 2011.[8]

In 2012, Matthews came under pressure because of revelations at Ornge, Ontario's air ambulance service. Members of the opposition Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties called for her to resign. In response to the revelations at Ornge, Matthews announced an OPP investigation.[9][10]

During the Liberal Party leadership race in 2013, she was an early supporter of Kathleen Wynne's candidacy to lead the party.

Following her reelection in 2014,[11] Matthews was shuffled from Health to a revamped role as President of the Treasury Board.[12][13] On June 13, 2016, she retained her position as Deputy Premier and was also appointed as Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. She was additionally responsible for Digital Government. Matthews was shuffled out of Cabinet on January 17, 2018, having declining re-election in the 2018 election.[14]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Ontario Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Reza Moridi
[note 1]
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development
Also Responsible for Digital Government
Mitzie Hunter
Jim Bradley Chair of Cabinet
Helena Jaczek
Dwight Duncan Deputy Premier of Ontario
[note 2]
Ontario Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
David Caplan Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Eric Hoskins
Mary Anne Chambers Minister of Children and Youth Services
Also Responsible for Women's Issues
Laurel Broten

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 16,379 35.98% -7.93%
New Democratic Judy Bryant 13,853 30.43% +7.72%
Progressive Conservative Nancy Branscombe 12,016 26.40% -2.53%
Green Kevin Labonte 2,445 5.37% +2.05%
Freedom Salim Mansur 639 1.40% +0.78%
Communist Dave McKee 115 0.25%
Pauper Michael Spottiswood 70 0.15% +0.03%
Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 19,167 43.91% -3.26%
Progressive Conservative Nancy Branscombe 12,628 28.93% +5.21%
New Democratic Steve Holmes 9,914 22.71% +6.06%
Green Kevin Labonte 1,451 3.32% -9.13%
Freedom Mary Lou Ambrogio 269 0.62%
Libertarian Jordan Vanklinken 169 0.39%
Pauper Michael Spottiswood 54 0.12%
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 21,669 47.17% +3.74%
Progressive Conservative Rob Alder 10,897 23.72% -5.20%
New Democratic Steve Holmes 7,649 16.65% -7.88%
Green Brett McKenzie 5,720 12.45% +10.77%
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 20,212 43.43% +22.54%
Progressive Conservative Dianne Cunningham 13,460 28.92% -11.29%
New Democratic Rebecca Coulter 11,414 24.53% -11.93%
Green Bronagh Joyce Morgan 780 1.68% +0.88%
Family Coalition Craig Smith 432 0.93% -0.09%
Freedom Lisa Turner 242 0.52% +0.18%



  1. ^ Was known as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
  2. ^ From 2013 to 2016 she was President of the Treasury Board and also Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.


  1. ^ Martin, Sandra (February 17, 2012). "Poised under fire, Deb Matthews tackles Ontario's ailing health-care system". Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Best-selling author, actress Shelley Peterson visits library Aug. 16" Archived September 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Orangeville Banner, August 9, 2010.
  3. ^ Deborah Drake Matthews (2006). "Can Immigration Compensate for Below-Replacement Fertility?: The Consequences of the Unbalanced Settlement of Immigrants in Canadian Cities, 2001–2051" (PDF). London, Ontario: Faculty of Graduate Studies, The University of Western Ontario. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 8 (xvii). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ Ferguson, Rob; Benzie, Robert (October 31, 2007). "Premier goes for new blood; Expanded 28-member cabinet has eight ministers from Toronto, three from 905 area". Toronto Star. p. A13. 
  7. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Toronto Star. October 21, 2011. p. A18. 
  9. ^ Donovan, Kevin (February 12, 2012). "ORNGE will be probed by OPP detectives". Toronto Star. 
  10. ^ Talaga, Tanya; Donovan, Kevin (February 21, 2012). "Deb Matthews won't resign over ORNGE scandal". Toronto Star. 
  11. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. p. 6. 
  12. ^ Richard Brennan; Robert Benzie; Rob Ferguson (June 24, 2014). "Kathleen Wynne warns financial cupboard is bare". Toronto Star. 
  13. ^ Adrian Morrows (June 23, 2014). "Job of finance minister split as Wynne gets set for cabinet shuffle". The Globe and Mail. 
  14. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women". CBC News. June 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]