Biography Deb Matthews

Deb Matthews
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Last updated Aug 24, 2015

Deb Matthews

Deb was born in London North Centre and graduated from St. George’s Public School and A.B. Lucas Secondary School. She studied at the Western University, where she completed her PhD in Social Demography.

Deb was elected by the residents of London North Centre to the Ontario Legislature in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014. Her current and previous roles in the legislature include:

Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development; Minister Responsible for Digital Government; Chair of Cabinet and Deputy Premier 2016

  • Deb is currently working on implementing the transformation of the Ontario Student Assistance Program, which will result in more generous and progressive student aid, including free average tuition to students from families with incomes under $50,000.

President of the Treasury Board; Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Deputy Premier 2014 - 2016

  • Led the development of The Centre of Excellence for Evidence Based Decision Making and the Local Poverty Reduction Fund.

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care 2009 - 2014

  • Deb led a major initiative to cut in half the price of prescription generic drugs.
  • She spearheaded The Excellent Care for All Act, which drives quality improvement in the health sector.

Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues; Minister of Children and Youth Services; Chair of Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction 2007 - 2009

  • Deb introduced the Poverty Reduction Act, which became a permanent government commitment to poverty reduction.
  • She also led the development of Breaking the Cycle, a strategy to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25%.
  • She was recognized as the driving force behind the Ontario Child Benefit.

Throughout her life Deb has been actively involved in the London community. She served as president of the Big Sisters of London and coordinated the capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club of London. She has been a volunteer with many London organizations including the Thames Valley Children’s Centre, the Canadian Institute for the Blind, Orchestra London and the Salvation Army. She has three children and five grandchildren.  

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