Deborah Matthews was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 as the MPP for London North Centre. She was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
Matthews currently serves as Deputy Premier, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. She has served as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and as Deputy Premier, as well as Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues. As Minister of Children and Youth Services, Matthews introduced The Poverty Reduction Act in 2009, which legislates an ongoing government commitment to poverty reduction. She played a key role in the establishment of the Ontario Child Benefit, a cornerstone of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
In her role as the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Matthews introduced the Excellent Care for All Act, spearheaded the initiative to significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs in Ontario and led the negotiations that resulted in a new deal with doctors in 2012. Guided by the Action Plan for Health Care, Matthews has worked to transform health care delivery to create a system that is more responsive to patients and delivers better value for taxpayers.
A lifelong resident of London, Matthews has been actively involved in community organizations in the London area. Matthews served as President of Big Sisters of London and coordinated the capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club of London. She volunteered with Orchestra London, the Thames Valley Children’s Centre, the Canadian Institute for the Blind and the Salvation Army. Her annual community book drive has collected tens of thousands of books destined for young readers.
Matthews has three children and five grandchildren.