Charles was first elected in October 2007. Previously, he was the President of Treasury Board, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan & ParaPan American Games, and Minister of Labour. He also served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade and the Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
Charles grew up in south Mississauga where he and his wife Zenny live with their three children.
Before joining government, Charles worked at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Financial Group for more than 20 years in Commercial Banking. Prior to that he owned and operated a financing company serving small businesses.
Charles graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1982 with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration. In 1991, he completed a fellowship at the Institute of Canadian Bankers in Corporate Banking. He then earned an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 1994.
Charles has introduced and delivered multiple Budgets and Fall Economic Statements. He negotiated the formation of the Canadian Cooperative Securities Regulator and has lead a national discussion on retirement income security.
As Minister of Citizenship & Immigration he introduced an immigration strategy to foster more support of settlement and newcomer representation in Ontario.
As Minister of Labour, Charles led the largest overhaul of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system in 30 years.
Charles also tabled and unanimously passed a private member’s resolution to include financial literacy education in Ontario’s elementary and secondary school curriculum.
Charles continues to champion the protection and revitalization of Mississauga’s waterfront improving mixed-use development and the rehabilition of marsh habitat. He also works closely with Trillium Health Centre, Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital to improve services in our community.
Charles fundraises for numerous community charities including the Mississauga Food Bank, the United Way, Rainbow Ball Foundation and the Community Foundation of Mississauga.
He also served as a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Toronto Board of Trade and a director of the American Chamber of Commerce. He is a past president of the Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business & Professionals and member of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto.
Charles received the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals in recognition of his service. He was also inducted as a Commander to the Order of Merit Portugal and is ranked Infancao da Confraria Vinho do Porto.