Irene Mathyssen was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006. She is the NDP’s Deputy Whip and the party’s critic for Veterans’ Affairs.
In previous Parliaments she has acted as the critic for seniors issues and for Status of Women and as deputy critic for Heritage and Public Safety. Prior to the election in October 2015 she served as the NDP Caucus Chair.
Mathyssen says over the past decade she and her staff have helped more than 11,000 of her constituents access such federal services as Employment Insurance, child tax benefits and pensions. In her time on Parliament Hill she has introduced more than 20 bills and motions addressing such issues as reducing poverty, environmental protection, increasing equality in Canada, and protecting seniors.
Mathyssen worked across party lines to secure much needed infrastructure funding for London. She also fought against cuts to women’s organization, housing programs and the student summer jobs program. In 2014 she was honoured with a Friendship Award by the Royal Canadian Legion in recognition of her advocacy work on behalf of Canadian veterans.
Prior to being elected to the House of Commons, Mathyssen was a provincial MPP. She served as government whip, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Environment and Minister without Portfolio in the Rae government. Before entering politics she spent 25 years as an English teacher at the high school level. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario in London.
She is married with one daughter.