About Irene Mathyssen
In 2006, Irene Mathyssen was elected to represent the riding of London-Fanshawe, the first member of the New Democratic Party ever elected to a represent London Ontario at the federal level. Voters re-elected her in 2008, 2011 and 2015 and she is currently the longest serving MP in her city.
Over the past decade Irene has served as NDP Critic for Seniors Issues and for Status of Women. She has also served as deputy critic for Heritage and Public Safety and as the NDP Caucus Chair.
In 2014 the Royal Canadian Legion honoured Irene with their “Friendship Award” in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of Canada’s veterans. Following her re-election in 2015 she was named Critic for Veterans Affairs.
Irene has introduced more than 20 bills and motions to Parliament. Her proposals have focused on reducing poverty—especially among seniors and children—as well as protecting worker rights and enhancing supports for Canadian Forces veterans. In 2015 her motion to remove the Harmonized Sales Tax from Feminine Hygiene products was passed with all party support by parliament. As a result of her work, on July 1st, 2015 Canadian women celebrated the end of the so-called “Tampon Tax”.
With her staff, Irene has already helped over 11,000 constituents access federal services including EI, child tax benefits and pensions. Working across party lines and with City Hall, Irene helped secure nearly $100 million in federal funds for 42 local London infrastructure projects. This helped to keep people working during the 2009 recession while completing much-needed repairs and upgrades.
Born and raised in the community she represents, Irene is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and was a secondary school teacher in her community for over 25years. She also served in the Ontario Provincial government as an MPP and cabinet minister from 1990-1995.