Ministry overview

The Cabinet Office is the Premier’s ministry, providing essential strategic advice and analysis to support the Premier and her Cabinet to achieve the government’s priorities. The Cabinet Office is led by the Secretary of the Cabinet who is also the Head of the Ontario Public Service, Clerk of the Executive Council and the Premier’s Deputy Minister.

To make this happen, Cabinet Office:

  • Supports all of the government’s priorities including investing in people, investing in modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic business climate.
  • Works with ministries to develop and coordinate policy, communications and intergovernmental strategies.
  • Supports and monitors the implementation and delivery of the government’s mandate and results.
  • Provides administrative services to the Office of the Premier, the Office of the Government House Leader, and all Ministers' Offices.


The Cabinet Office mandate is to deliver on government priorities and serve the public interest through responsible public service.

Ministry contribution to priorities and results

  • Strategic leadership to support implementation, delivery of results and policy priorities.
  • High quality and strategic advice to inform policy, delivery and results, and fiscal decision-making.
  • Modern government communications that engage the people of Ontario.
  • Communications that are centrally coordinated, clear and easy to understand with impact and reach.
  • Integrity and effectiveness and modernization of the Cabinet decision-making process.
  • Strategic advice and analysis to advance Ontario’s intergovernmental and international relations and protocol priorities.
  • Maximize opportunities to exert influence that can best serve Ontario’s interests by building strong working relations with federal, provincial and territorial governments and governments outside of Canada.
  • Strategic administrative advice and delivery of quality and timely services.
  • Continue to build a barrier free, inclusive workplace.

Cabinet Office contribution to priorities and results

PrioritiesStrategic leadership to inform policy delivery and resultsModern communications that engage the people of OntarioBuilding strong working relations with domestic and foreign governments
  • Advice and coordination on machinery of government and Cabinet meetings
  • New policy committees and a forward looking agenda plan
  • Improved strategic policy formulation and delivery
  • The OPS is positioned for critical policy, fiscal, and program transformation objectives
  • Clear, accessible and customer-focused communications
  • High quality communications support and strategic advice to the Office of the Premier, Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Strategic issues management
  • Raising Ontario’s profile and advancing its interests and priorities internationally
  • Strong relationships with key foreign national/subnational governments and priority commercial partners around the world
  • Enhanced intergovernmental and international policy capacity in the OPS
  • Collaborating with the Premier’s Office to establish and manage the government’s policy and legislative agenda
  • Building policy capacity to position government for critical policy, fiscal, and program transformation objectives
  • Enhancing government policy development and decision- making process
  • Undertaking special research and projects
  • Driving an integrated, strategic approach to planning and delivering communications across government
  • Supporting the integration of new digital communications tools and services by providing leadership, strategy and support
  • Forecasting, planning, media monitoring and analysis
  • Supporting the development of Ontario’s positions on key Intergovernmental files
  • Providing advice and support to ministries at Federal/Provincial/ Territorial and Provincial/Territorial meetings
  • Supporting ministries' activities and priorities in the global marketplace
  • Developing policy regarding national institutions and Ontario’s provincial election policies/legislation
  • Planning and implementation of Premier- led business missions abroad

Major Programs /Activities

Secretary of the Cabinet:

  • Premier’s Deputy Minister, Clerk of the Executive Council, Head of the Ontario Public Service

Government House Leader:

  • Legislative Agenda

Policy & Delivery Division:

  • Executive Council Office, Policy Branches, Strategy & Results Branch, Secretariat for the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets

Communications Division:

  • Strategic Communications, Digital Media, Writing Services, Issues Management, Strategic New Media, Freedom of Information, Marketing and Learning & Development

Intergovernmental Affairs Division:

  • Health, Social, Environmental & National Institutions, Economics & Justice and Office of International Relations & Protocol

Corporate Planning & Services Division:

  • Human Resources, Financial, Corporate Planning & Project and Operational Services

Key Measures

Priorities identified by the government are being implemented by respective ministries.

Ministry programs and activities

The core business of the Cabinet Office consists of the following:

Secretary of the Cabinet: the Premier’s Deputy Minister, Clerk of the Executive Council and the Head of the Ontario Public Service.

Policy & Delivery Division: policy, delivery and strategy development, and machinery of government.

Communications Division: strategic communications, marketing, writing services, digital media, freedom of information, and learning & development.

Intergovernmental Affairs Division: intergovernmental relations in Canada and international relations and protocol.

Corporate Planning & Services Division: human resources, finance, and other administrative functions.

Government House Leader: legislative agenda.

Core business details:

Secretary of the Cabinet

As the Premier’s Deputy Minister

  • Provides advice and support to the Premier to deliver on the government’s mandate; and
  • Manages the performance of each Deputy Minister on behalf of the Premier.

As Clerk of the Executive Council

  • Supports the Cabinet decision-making process;
  • Conveys Cabinet decisions to Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
  • Ensures Cabinet decisions are implemented; and
  • Ensures Cabinet’s agenda and its committees support the government’s priorities.

As Head of the Ontario Public Service

  • Ensures effective and efficient management, operation and organization of the public service;
  • Oversees the day-to-day operation of Ontario’s public services; and
  • Implements long-term strategies for the future of the public service.

Policy and Delivery Division:

Policy & Delivery is responsible for ensuring that the government’s decision-making structures operate effectively. The division works closely with ministries to provide policy advice, coordination (i.e. managing the government’s agenda) and implementation support for the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Office of the Premier.

Executive Council Office: Supports the Secretary of the Cabinet, and the Office of the Premier by providing advice and coordination on the machinery of government; managing the strategic agenda setting processes that support implementation of the government’s agenda; and managing the operation of Cabinet and its meetings. Also, works closely with the Office of Legislative Counsel, Government House Leader’s Office, Cabinet Office Policy and Delivery, and Communications to develop and track the legislative plan for each session and to track government commitments. One of the Executive Council Office’s priorities is to build a secure paperless integrated end-to-end decision-making system.

Policy Branches: Both branches are responsible for managing the implementation of the government’s policy agenda by supporting the Cabinet decision-making process. Provides policy advice and support to the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Office of the Premier and ministries developing Cabinet materials.

Strategy and Results Branch: Leads policy learning and disseminates best practices to support OPS-wide policy improvement. Advances long-term planning and supports effective use of research across and between ministries.

Secretariat for the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets: Provides analysis, advice and recommendations on how best to maximize the value and performance of government business enterprises and other Provincial assets to help deliver on the multi-year targets set out in the 2014 Budget.

Communications Division:

Communications works with the Office of the Premier and ministries to strategically communicate the government’s priorities, initiatives and programs. The division also provides full communications services to the Premier and her office including strategic planning, writing, digital communications, media monitoring and issues management, marketing and correspondence.

Strategic Communications: Coordinates ministry communications, working with the Office of the Premier, strategically maps out the communications agenda, priorities, planning and execution.

Digital Media: Responsible for the Premier’s website, the government’s online Newsroom, event and tour support, video, photography and graphic design work. Leads the communications community to enhance the quality of Ontario’s digital presence: oversees the Online Design Program, Keyword Program, Mobile Strategy, and OneSite.

Writing Services: Prepares communications materials for the Premier including speeches, news releases, statements and correspondence.

Issues Management: Proactively flags and manages emerging issues, works with ministries to coordinate issues management, provides media monitoring and analysis.

Freedom of Information: Responds to FOI requests for the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office. Provides FOI and privacy support and training to ministries across the OPS.

Marketing: Works closely with ministries across the OPS to provide support on advertising and market research.

Learning and Development: Provides professional development and training for the OPS communications community through online and in-class courses, speakers series, and maintains a library of tools, templates and best practice guidelines.

Intergovernmental Affairs Division:

Intergovernmental Affairs provides advice and analysis on matters of intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocol, as well as democratic institutions of government. The division supports the Premier in her capacity as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and as Premier of Ontario.

Intergovernmental Relations in Canada

  • Provides strategic advice, policy development and resource support regarding national institutions, Ontario’s democratic institutions, Ontario’s election legislation and provincial elections as well as on domestic issues such as trade, energy, environment and borders;
  • Develops and coordinates Ontario’s intergovernmental affairs strategy and works with ministries to ensure execution; coordinates inter-ministerial intergovernmental files and collaborates with ministries on federal-provincial negotiations;
  • Advances Ontario’s interests and maintains strong relations with the federal government and other provinces and territories;
  • Provides advice and direct support to the Premier and Secretary of the Cabinet in bi-lateral/multi-lateral forums (i.e. meetings with the Prime Minister, other Premiers, Council of the Federation); and
  • Provides intelligence, research and analysis of other jurisdictions on intergovernmental issues.

International Relations

  • Coordinates the Premier’s missions abroad in cooperation with other ministries, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and other partners;
  • Coordinates inter-ministerial engagement with the U.S;
  • Manages Ontario’s International Disaster Relief program; and
  • Provides special services, information and advice on protocol policies and practices for the government including official visits and delegations, ceremonial events, royal tours, order of precedence and half-masting of flags policy.

Corporate Planning and Services Division:

Delivers timely, cost effective and efficient services on behalf of the Office of the Premier, Cabinet Office, Government House Leader and Ministers' Offices.

Human Resources: Direct service delivery of strategic and technical advice including recruitment, employee relations, employee engagement, planning, corporate initiatives and job design.

Finance: Coordinates and monitors finances for the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office. Manages corporate financial processes including Results-based Planning, Quarterly Submissions, Printed Estimates and Public Accounts. Also provides procurement services and technical advice.

Corporate Planning and Projects: Coordination of Continuity of Operations plans for the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office, including provisions for emergency Cabinet meetings, records and information management processes, management of the Accessibility and Green Plan requirements.

Operations: Coordination and provision of accommodations and telecommunications services, and administrative support for Cabinet.

Government House Leader:

Provides leadership for the implementation of the government’s legislative agenda.

The following chart depicts the ministry’s 2014-15 allocation by vote and item.

Cabinet Office Allocation of 2014-15 Base Spending ($28.7 million)

Pie chart: in 2014-15 Cabinet Office received an allocation of $28.7 million dollars. The main office received $28.4 million dollars or 99% of the allocation, the Government House Leader received $0.3 million or 1% of the allocation and the Statutory Appropriation received $0.1 million or 0% of the allocation.

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2014-15
Operating$28.74 million
Total$28.74 million

Highlights of 2013-14 achievements

2013-14 Policy & Delivery Division achievements

  • Successful Polivery conference was delivered on October 24th. Highest satisfaction results to date in delivering this initiative.
  • Developed and began implementing training sessions for all ministries to support integration of policy, fiscal and communications and increase awareness of the government decision-making processes system-wide.
  • Continued to work closely with the Office of the Premier, central agencies, and line ministries on key issues/challenges in supporting large scale fiscal and policy reform.
  • Developed and implemented a prioritization planning process to help the government manage its policy agenda.

2013-14 Communications Division achievements

Worked with the Office of the Premier and other ministries to ensure key government priorities were communicated with impact and reach. Communications offered support in the following areas:

  • Integrated Communications Planning and Implementation;
  • Issues Management;
  • Digital/Online;
  • Freedom of Information;
  • Marketing;
  • Correspondence; and
  • Communications Training

2013-14 Intergovernmental Affairs Division achievements

Advised and supported the Secretary of the Cabinet, the Premier, and Cabinet on national and international intergovernmental policy and strategic interests. Major achievements included:

  • Hosting a successful 2013 COF Summer Meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake;
  • Co-chairing the Health Care Innovation Working Group;
  • Hosting a successful COF Fall Meeting in Toronto in November 2013;
  • Releasing an inventory of federal actions impacting Ontario and providing a technical briefing for media; and
  • Promoting Ontario’s global interests and objectives through Premier’s and
  • Ministers' international engagement.

2013-14 Corporate Planning & Services Division achievements

Delivered quality and timely human resources, financial and administrative advice and support to the Office of the Premier, Government House Leader, Ministers' Offices and Cabinet Office.

Ministry organization chart

This is an organizational chart for Cabinet Office as of April 1, 2015. The chart shows the following structure with the top level assigned to the Secretary of the Cabinet, Office of the Premier, Special Advisors to the Premier and Office of the Government House Leader.

  • Secretary of the Cabinet
    • Director & Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Cabinet
    • Legal Counsel and Special Advisor
    • Deputy Minister of Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet
      • Ministry Communications Directors
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications
        • Director, Marketing & Digital Strategy
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications
        • Director, OneSite & Digital Projects
        • Director Communications & Operations
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health, Social, Environment & National Institutions
        • Director, Federalism & Institutions
        • Director, Canadian Intergovernmental Relations
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economics & Justice, Intergovernmental Affairs
        • Director, Economics & Justice
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, International Relations & Chief of Protocol
        • Director, International Relations & Deputy Chief of Protocol
    • Deputy Minister, Policy & Delivery, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health, Social Education & Children’s Policy
        • Executive Coordinator, Education & Children’s Policy
        • Executive Coordinator, Health & Social Policy
        • Director, Community Hubs Secretariat
      • Director, Strategy & Results
      • Executive Coordinator & Senior Deputy Clerk, Executive Council Office
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic, Environmental, Justice & Intergovernmental Policy
        • Executive Coordinator, Justice, Resource & Environmental Policy
        • Executive Coordinator, Economic, Transportation & Infrastructure Policy
      • Executive Lead. Secretariat for the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets
        • Project Director
    • Deputy Minister, Treasury Board Secretariat, Secretary of Treasury Board & Management Board of Cabinet
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Centre of Leadership & Learning, Secretary to the Public Service, Commission and Executive Development Committee
    • Assistant Deputy Minister & CAO, Corporate Planning & Services
      • Director, Corporate Planning & Services

Group of 5 Offices

  1. Office of the Premier
  2. Special Advisors to the Premier
  3. Office of the Government House Leader
  4. Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
  5. Office of the Chair of Cabinet

Detailed financial information

Table 2: combined Operating Summary by Vote
Cabinet Office Table: Operating Summary by Vote
Changes from Estimates
Changes from Estimates
2013-14footnote 1
Interim Actuals
2013-14footnote 1
2012-13footnote 1
Operating Expense Main Office$28,352,700$1,969,4007.5%$26,383,300$26,550,000$26,365,402
Government House Leader$328,000N/AN/A$328,000$328,000$312,794
Less: Special Warrants$7,947,200$7,947,200N/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Operating Expense to be Voted$20,733,500($5,977,800)(22.4%)$26,711,300$26,878,000$26,678,196
Special Warrants$7,947,200$7,947,200N/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory Appropriations$464,014N/AN/A$464,014$64,014$6,750
Ministry Total Operating Expense$28,744,714$1,969,4007.4%$26,775,314$26,942,014$26,684,946

Appendix: annual report 2013-14

Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2013-14footnote 2

Operating$26.88 million
Staff Strengthfootnote 3 (as of March 31, 2014)213