Father, we come before You with thanksgiving for the men and women that serve us in the Parliament of the Province of Ontario. We lift up MPP: Deborah Matthews to You and ask You to pour out Your blessings on her and hes family. Be with her Lord, as she serves in government and in her constituency of London North Centre. Open her eyes to new possibilities as she travels and talks to the people of our province. Renew her strength and vision for the work You have called her to do. Protect her Lord as she travels either by airplane or car in her role as a Cabinet Minister. As Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board we ask that you help her to make good decisions and give good leadership to the roles she has been given. We begin to pray for wisdom, courage, integrity, strength, blessing and righteousness to be poured on her that she may help to give good leadership to our province. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
Deb was elected by the residents of London North Centre to the Ontario Legislature in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
She was appointed Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in October 2009 and was appointed Deputy Premier in February 2013. She was recently appointed to President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
As Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb has led a major initiative to reduce the cost of prescription generic drugs – and, she spearheaded The Excellent Care for All Act which was passed unanimously in the Legislative Assembly. This Act will transform our health care system – through better value for taxpayer investments in higher quality care. It has been said that this Act could be the single most important piece of health care legislation since the creation of our publicly-funded health system.
Previously, Deb served as the Minister of Children and Youth, the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and the Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction.
Deb led the development of Breaking the Cycle, a strategy focused on raising the standard of living for all children in Ontario and reducing the number of children living in poverty by 25% in 5 years - and she was recognized as the driving force behind the historic Ontario Child Benefit.
In 2009, Deb introduced the Poverty Reduction Act. When it was unanimously passed in the legislature, the Act became a permanent government commitment to poverty reduction.
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.
For her outstanding work for social justice, Deb was awarded the 2007 Political Award of Merit by the Social Work Doctors’ Colloquium. She was nominated by A.B. Lucas Secondary School and acknowledged by the Thames Valley District School Board as an Individual who Inspires Excellence.
When she was teaching here at Western, she was honoured twice by the Students’ Council with a place on the Teaching Honour Roll. In March 2010, she was recognized as an Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Hamilton Road Business Association Ealing Girls Club.
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 University of Western Ontario, where she completed her Ph D. in Social Demography. She has three children and five grandchildren.