April 2014

Investing in a Stronger Ontario

11:45am-1:30pm | InterContinental Hotel - 225 Front Street West , Toronto

Charles Sousa was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.

He is currently Ontario's Minister of Finance and has previously served as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, Minister of Labour and as a member of the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet.

He has also held the positions of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development & Trade, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Government & Consumer Services and member of the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs.

Before joining government, Charles worked at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Financial Group for more than 20 years. Among his roles were Director of Business Development - Commercial Financial Services, Director of Government & Community Affairs promoting RBC's strategic initiatives and Senior Manager of Marketing at RBC Dominion Securities’ head office. Prior to working at the bank, Charles owned and operated a factoring company that offered financial services to small businesses.

Charles Sousa grew up in south Mississauga and lives in Clarkson with his wife Zenny and their three children.


1982 Hon. Bachelor of Business Administration
Wilfrid Laurier University

1991 Fellowship – Commercial Banking
Institute of Canadian Bankers
Gold Medalist Award

1994 Executive Master Business Administration
Richard Ivey School of Business
University of Western Ontario


Waterfront and Airshed Protection: Upon taking office, Charles started to push for the protection and revitalization of Mississauga’s waterfront. Within one year, those efforts paid off when it was announced that Lakeview would never again host power generation. In 2010, there was more good news for the community when it was announced that no new gas-fired power plant would be built in Clarkson. In December of 2010, Charles’ efforts lead to the City, the Province and OPG signing a memorandum of understanding to work together on a shared vision for the future of the Lakeview lands.

Poverty Reduction: Charles worked closely with community leaders and local service providers to help shape Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. As a part of his efforts, he hosted a meeting between local stakeholders and Minister Deb Matthews to discuss poverty in Mississauga.

Consumer Protection: During his service as Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Government & Consumer Services, Charles was instrumental in passing new consumer protection legislation to regulate payday lenders. The Payday Loans Act, 2008 gives the government the ability to cap the total cost of borrowing and bans predatory lending practices.

Waste Reporting Act: In 2008 Charles introduced a private member’s bill to track and report the amount of waste generated by the Industrial, Commercial & Institutional sector. By tracking how much waste is generated and where it goes, the government would be better able to set targets for waste reduction and monitor progress.

Education and Financial Literacy: On October 8th 2009, Charles debated his private member’s resolution calling on the Ministry of Education to include financial literacy education in Ontario’s elementary and secondary school curricula. Citing a need to better prepare students to make financial decisions, the resolution passed unanimously. Then on November 2nd, the Ministry of Education announced that, starting in September of 2011, financial literacy education will be taught to students in grades 4 to 12.

Economic Improvements: As a part of the government’s Open Ontario plan, Charles has helped introduce Open for Business legislation that will make it simpler, better and faster for large and small companies alike to do business in Ontario. Locally, work has finished on south Mississauga’s Lakeshore West GO line to add a third track. Improvements to public transit infrastructure are key to supporting our local economy and helping reduce the number of cars on our roads.

Health and Long Term Care: Charles works closely with the Mississauga Halton LHIN, Trillium Health Centre and Credit Valley Hospital to improve health services in our community. Since 2007, Emergency room wait times in south Mississauga have come down and new investment has helped our hospitals to expand and to open new clinics.

Occupational Health & Safety: Charles led the largest overhaul of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system in 30 years. Bill 160, The Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act was passed in May 2011 which, among other things, includes the creation of a Chief Prevention Officer and a new prevention council.

Charles also introduced and received unanimous support for Bill 181, the Fire Protection and Prevention Amendment Act, 2011. This legislation addresses mandatory retirement for firefighters and provides for the duty of fair representation.

Community Involvement:
Member Clarkson Airshed Study Advisory Committee
Member Petro Canada Public Liaison Committee
Member Lakeview Local Advisory Panel
Member Port Credit Local Advisory Panel
Chair Industry Caucus at Queen’s Park

Past Activities:
Member Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Director American Chamber of Commerce
Member Toronto Board of Trade
Director International Chamber of Commerce
Executive European Union Chamber of Commerce
Director Toronto
President Federation of Portuguese Canadian
Business & Professionals
Ambassador Credit Valley Hospital Foundation
Honourary The Rainbow Ball Foundation

Awards and Recognitions:

2003 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service
to the community
2009 Inducted as Commander to the Order of Merit by the
Republic of Portugal

Investing in a Stronger Ontario