Deb Matthews

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The Honourable
Deb Matthews
Deb Matthews Speaking at Canadian Open Dialogue Forum.jpg
Deb Matthews Speaking at Canadian Open Dialogue Forum in Ottawa in 2016
Deputy Premier of Ontario
Assumed office
February 11, 2013
Preceded by Dwight Duncan
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for London North Centre
Assumed office
October 2, 2003
Preceded by Dianne Cunningham
Personal details
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
London, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Residence London, Ontario

Deborah Drake Matthews (born c. 1953) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. She is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2003. She represents the riding of London North Centre. Matthews served as a cabinet minister in the government of Dalton McGuinty and is a cabinet minister and Deputy Premier of Ontario in the government of 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.[1]

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."[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] She was appointed as the Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues after the election.[5]

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.[6] She was reappointed as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on October 20, 2011.[7]

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.[8][9]

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

Following the 2014 election, Matthews was shuffled from Health to a revamped role as President of the Treasury Board.[10][11] On June 13, 2016, she retained her position as Deputy Premier and was also appointed as Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. She is additionally responsible for Digital Government.[12]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Reza Moridi
[note 1]
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development
Also Responsible for Digital Government
Dwight Duncan Deputy Premier of Ontario
[note 2]
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, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 19,157 43.81% -2.86%
Progressive Conservative Nancy Branscombe 12,628 28.88% +4.40%
New Democratic Steve Holmes 9,875 22.58% +6.07%
Green Kevin Labonte 1,512 3.46% -8.88%
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Deb Matthews 21,669 46.7% +3.27%
Progressive Conservative Rob Alder 11,366 24.5% -4.42%
New Democratic Steve Holmes 7,667 16.5% -8.03%
Green Brett McKenzie 5,730 12.3% +10.62%
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. ^ "Best-selling author, actress Shelley Peterson visits library Aug. 16". Orangeville Banner, August 9, 2010.
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 8 (xvii). [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 9. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Toronto Star. October 21, 2011. p. A18. 
  8. ^ Donovan, Kevin (February 12, 2012). "ORNGE will be probed by OPP detectives". Toronto Star. 
  9. ^ Talaga, Tanya; Donovan, Kevin (February 21, 2012). "Deb Matthews won't resign over ORNGE scandal". Toronto Star. 
  10. ^ Richard Brennan; Robert Benzie; Rob Ferguson (June 24, 2014). "Kathleen Wynne warns financial cupboard is bare". Toronto Star. 
  11. ^ Adrian Morrows (June 23, 2014). "Job of finance minister split as Wynne gets set for cabinet shuffle". The Globe and Mail. 
  12. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women". CBC News. June 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]