Breaking News! Introducing the New Deputy Minister

deb2Our family couldn’t be prouder.

Today, the Government of Ontario announced that my beloved wife, Deborah Richardson, has been appointed Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

To be honest, this is a role she was born do. Deborah has so much passion and energy for First Nation and Métis people and their communities. She’s full of ideas and more than willing to collaborate with all indigenous leaders from across the Province. Having worked with her in the Province, she’s a real mover-and-shaker within the bureaucracy who has been known to make difference and affect public policy.

She will be the senior executive responsible for leading the entire Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. She will be working closely with Minister David Zimmer, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Secretary of Cabinet Steve Orsini, and her fellow Deputy Ministers as well as her Assistant Deputy Ministers and ministerial colleagues in MAA.

Deborah, a proud Mi’kmaq woman from Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick is the first indigenous female Deputy Minister in Ontario’s history.

There are many happy people across First Nation communities today. Many have been anticipating this announcement, someday. Well, the day is finally here.

Personally, I’m so thrilled and happy for Deborah, as are our children Jasmine, Fiona, Katherine Faith, Griffin and Miigwans. We’re tickled pink in the Richardon-Goulais household. Please join me in wishing Deborah a very happy congratulations in her new role as Deputy Minister.


The Cabinet Office

Secretary of the Cabinet


I am pleased to announce the following executive appointments:

  • Wendy Tilford will lead an expanded portfolio at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, taking on additional responsibility for ServiceOntario, effective January 1, 2015.  In moving to a one-deputy model for the ministry, Wendy will establish operational leadership of ServiceOntario at the Associate Deputy level. I have asked Shirley Phillips to lead ServiceOntario on an interim basis, while recruitment of a permanent Associate Deputy Minister/Chief Executive Officer is completed,  effective January 1, 2015,  I am also delighted to announce that Wendy has been selected as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2014. She will receive her award tomorrow evening at the Women’s Executive Network Gala.
  • Helen Angus becomes Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and International Trade, and Deputy Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Seniors Affairs, effective December 1, 2014.
  • David de Launay becomes Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines, effective January 5, 2015.
  • Deborah Richardson returns to the OPS and becomes Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Deborah will also be appointed to the Executive Development Committee and the Public Service Commission. Both appointments are effective January 5, 2015.

Please join me in extending thanks to Christine Kaszycki for providing leadership for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, while recruitment of a new Deputy Minister was completed. Christine’s leadership was invaluable during this time of transition, and on a personal level I want to thank her for her exceptional support and advice.

I would also like to thank Steven Davidson for his contribution and sound advice to EDC/PSC, as his appointment to this table comes to an end in early January. Steven made a significant contribution to our ongoing efforts around executive leadership.

Please join me in congratulating Wendy, Helen, David, Deborah and Shirley on their new assignments. I very much look forward to our work together.

Steve Orsini
Secretary of Cabinet



  1. Ethel says:

    Congrats Deb ..this is so will do a great job!!

  2. Jo-Anne Petiquan-Moore says:

    WOW Congratulaton!

    Can we have a meeting just for Wabauskang First Nation real soon


  3. Janet louise says:

    Congrats very excited for you and your family hopfully Someday I’ll have the pleasure of meeting your beautiful wife bob congraulations once again…
    Take care
    Janet Louise

  4. Conrad Bobiwash says:

    Congradulations,another bridge builder making a better future for our communities.

    • Dave & Anne Marie says:

      We wish to congratulate Deborah on her appointment which is well deserved. Just knowing her for the short time we have, it is apparent that she will serve well in this new position and many people will benefit from her knowledge, drive and experience. Best wishes to you.

  5. Y. Lamarche says:

    Thank Jesus! (and I’m not even a Christian). Now if we can only get an Indian appointed to the DM level at AANDC we would be making more real progress. Congrats to Deb. You have a very very kind family Bob to share her with the people by way of this service.

  6. Patricia. Jennings says:

    Congratulations Debbie! I know you will do a wonderful job and I am sure very well deserved . Good luck in your future adventures .
    Patricia . Jennings

  7. Leigh jessen says:

    Of course she is DM. Congrats Deborah. Such an honour to have you there.

  8. Lapointe Yvette says:

    Congratulations Deborah. We are so proud and happy for you. This is such a wonderful opportunity for you.

  9. clarice Abbott says:

    Congratulations Deborah. you really deserved it.

  10. anne murphy says:

    congratulations deb! forge the path!

  11. Daniel Kelly says:

    Congratulations Deborah on your appointment.

  12. TONY VITALE says:


  13. Yvonne meunier says:

    From the Mi’Mao Nation in Metepenagiag NB I wish you great success and ask Creator to guide you always when representing our people and to protect you and your family always,,Welalieg Nisgam.

  14. Jo Johnson says:

    Congratulations Deborah, may the Great Spirit continue to bless your life.

  15. Harvey says:

    Congrats, I am not surprised. You always have been a good leader.


  16. Stacey Nahdee says:

    Congrats Deb and the Richardson-Goulais families. Great opportunity to honour the ancestors with a feast for all they do to guide, help, bless, and heal our nations on this life journey of Mino-Pimatziwin; and, sharing our lives and families lives in leadership, equality, and integrity. All the best to you, your family, community, and relations.

  17. Colleen Wassegijig-Migwans says:

    Awesome! Congratulations Deborah!