Ministry overview


Cabinet Office’s mandate is to deliver on government priorities and serve the public interest through responsible public service. The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs supports the Premier in her intergovernmental and international engagement.

Ontario’s strategic plan

Ministry contribution to priority outcomes

Cabinet Office supports all of the government’s priorities including investing in people, investing in modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic business climate. Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs work with ministries to develop and coordinate policy, communications and intergovernmental strategies, and support and monitor the implementation and delivery of the government’s mandate and results.

Administrative services and support are also provided to the Office of the Premier, the Office of the Government House Leader, Office of the Chair of Cabinet, and all Ministers’ Offices.

Ministry programs

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 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 ensures that the government’s decision-making structures operate effectively and works closely with ministries to provide policy advice, coordination, and delivery support to ensure effective implementation of the government’s policy agenda. This core mandate is delivered through two Policy Branches, the Executive Council Office, and the Strategy and Results Branch. In recent years, the division has also assumed responsibilities for a number of Government priority strategic and/or horizontal initiatives:

  • In 2014, the Secretariat to the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets was created to provide strategic advice and analysis to support the work of the Council and to support the work of the Premier’s Business Advisor.
  • In Spring 2015, the Community Hubs Secretariat was created as a temporary body to support development and implementation of the Advisory Group’s Strategic Framework and Action Plan recommendations, and other ongoing work of the Premier’s Special Advisor.
  • In Summer 2015, the Highly Skilled Workforce project team was established to support the Premier’s Special Advisor and expert panel responsible for creating an integrated highly skilled workforce strategy that both meets the needs of today’s economy and anticipates the needs of Ontario’s new economy.
  • In Fall 2015, the Executive Lead and Secretariat was established to coordinate Ontario’s multi-ministry response to the Syrian Refugee crisis.
  • In Winter 2016, the Anti-Racism Directorate was established as part of the government’s commitment to fight discrimination and ensure that everyone in Ontario has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and participate equally in society.

The division is also enhancing its capacity to plan and track government policy commitments. This includes implementing a new process to identify and track policy and delivery risks across ministries and the modernization of the Cabinet decision-making process using technology.

Communications Division works with the Office of the Premier and ministries to strategically communicate the government’s priorities, initiatives and programs. The division has traditionally provided full communications services to the Premier and the Premier’s Office including strategic planning, coordination of all government communications, writing, digital communications, media monitoring and issues management, marketing and correspondence.

The division has seen a dramatic increase in the delivery of services in a number of areas, including:

  • The preparation of communications materials including speeches, news releases, statements and correspondence, which includes fact checking, formatting, translation and distribution. This service also extends to the provision of increasingly detailed product support for intergovernmental events and international trade missions and intensive communications support for centrally coordinated initiatives including assets management, community hubs and highly skilled workforce.
  • Digital communications support to the government and event support to the Premier’s Office including video, photography and graphic design work.
  • The expansion of and the increasing role to provide advice and guidance on digital communications, ensuring the quality of Ontario’s digital presence when it comes to all online communications, social media and video.

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs (MIA) provides advice/analysis and operational support for intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocol, as well as democratic institutions of government. MIA supports the Premier in her capacity as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and as Premier of Ontario.

  • There has been a significant increase in the nature and volume of services and supports provided to the Premier and the Premier’s Office for international trade missions and meetings with Heads of State.
  • Additionally, Ontario has increased its engagement with other provinces and territories, in particular with Quebec, and it is anticipated that there will be increased engagement with the federal government through bilateral and First Ministers meetings.

External Programs

Transfer Payment – Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

  • Used to transmit funds to the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) who provides support services to annual intergovernmental meetings that are attended by Ontario to advance intergovernmental collaborative work on priority files.

Transfer Payment – Grants to Advance Federal/Provincial Relations

  • Used sporadically to support a variety of initiatives relating to federal-provincial relations.

Transfer Payment – The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations

  • Advances research on federalism issues through a respected, impartial and independent organization whose connections with Canadian scholars, other governments, and international peers create analysis used to advance Ontario’s intergovernmental priorities in the federation.

Transfer Payment – International Disaster Relief Program

  • Allows for the provision of financial contributions to non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of natural disasters and political strife abroad.

Corporate Planning & Services delivers timely, cost effective and efficient services in the areas of Human Resources, Finance, Corporate Planning and Projects, and Operations. Administrative services have increased in step with the divisional changes listed above.

Government House Leader’s Office provides leadership for the implementation of the government’s legislative agenda.

Office of the Chair of Cabinet provides oversight and control to the agenda and meetings of the Cabinet.

Cabinet Office 2016-17 Allocation ($39.57M)

The following chart depicts the ministry’s 2016-17 allocation by vote and item.

Table 1:  Ministry planned expenditures 2016-17 (millions)

Expenditure TypeExpenditure Amount
Operating$39.57 million
Total$39.57 million

Highlights of 2015-16 achievements

Policy & Delivery Division achievements

  • Enhanced the capacity to plan and report on government policy commitments, and implemented a new process to identify and track policy and delivery risks across government.
  • Continued to provide executive oversight and support to the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets. The Council supported the implementation of the Hydro One Initial Public Offering and the sale of Beer in grocery stores, and provided the government with its final recommendations for the wine and retail sector.
  • Undertook the direct delivery responsibility for priority strategic and horizontal projects: Community Hubs, Highly Skilled Workforce, Syrian Refugee Resettlement and Anti-Racism Directorate.
  • Moved forward with the modernization of the Cabinet decision-making process through the use of technology, in alignment with the government’s digital strategy. The work to launch paperless Legislation and Regulations Committee meetings was completed, and initial work is underway to provide material to Cabinet Committee members electronically, as a first step towards fully digitized committee meetings.
  • Supported the development of a new policy approval structure that optimizes the use of Ministers’ and Caucus Members’ time, leverages their knowledge and expertise, and streamlines government decision-making.

Communications Division achievements

Advised and supported the Office of the Premier and other ministries to ensure key government priorities were communicated with impact and reach. Key areas included:

  • Coordination of strategic rollout of all government announcements.
  • Issues management, including crisis communications support and around-the-clock issues and media monitoring.
  • Writing and tour support for the Premier, including events, engagements and correspondence.
  • Communications and tour support for five major Premier’s international missions.
  • Online and digital communications support for the Premier and ministries, including Premier’s website,, social media channels, marketing and Newsroom.
  • Support and coordination for Premier’s Office/Cabinet Office Freedom of Information requests.
  • Comprehensive in-house, cross-OPS training for communicators to keep abreast of trends and skills development.
  • Communications and tour support for the Secretary of the Cabinet, including event logistics, written products and presentations.
  • Communications and tour support for the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.
  • Coordination and rollout of the Ministers’ mandate report-back exercise.

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:

  • Promotion of Ontario’s national and international interests and objectives through Premier’s intergovernmental and international engagement.
  • Delivery of Premier-led international trade missions to China and India, as well as New York, California and Washington, D.C.
  • Support for the Premier’s participation at the COP21 Summit and the Council of Great Lakes Governors meeting.
  • Support for the Premier’s participation and national leadership efforts at the fall 2015 and winter 2016 Meetings of Canada’s Premiers. Support for the Premier’s participation in 2015 (Ottawa) and 2016 (Vancouver) First Ministers’ Meetings on climate change, including first ministers’ agreement on the Vancouver Declaration on clean growth and climate change.
  • Supporting engagement of Premier and other ministers/ministries with new federal government, consistent with Ontario priorities.
  • Support for the Ontario-Quebec partnership with the Fifth Ontario-Quebec Joint Cabinet Meeting in Quebec City and associated announcements.
  • Successful execution of key protocol including the unveiling of the Official Portrait of former-Premier Dalton McGuinty.
  • Supporting and sustaining the Premier’s call for enhanced infrastructure funding in Canada – federal government has committed to invest an additional $60 billion over the next ten years.
  • Supporting the Premier’s national leadership efforts to launch a pan-Canadian public prevention and awareness campaign to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.
  • Support for the Premier in her duties as co-chair of the provincial-territorial Health Care Innovation Working Group which advances innovation and transformation in health care delivery.
  • Introduction and passage of the Electoral Boundaries Act, 2015.

Corporate Planning & Services Division achievements

  • Successfully delivered quality and timely human resources, financial and administrative services advice and support to the Office of the Premier, Government House Leader, Ministers’ Offices, Office of the Chair of Cabinet and Cabinet Office.
  • Supported the establishment of various priority projects within the ministry.
  • Supported organizational change to deliver on government priorities.

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, Intergovernmental Affairs
        • 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, Intergovernmental Affairs
        • 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 & SR 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

Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined Operating Summary by Vote

Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2016-17Change from Estimates 2015-16% Change from Estimates 2016-16Estimates 2015-16footnote 1Interim Actuals
2015-16footnote 1
2014-14footnote 1
Operating Expense
Main Office
Government House leader$328,000N/AN/A$328,000$328,000$299,072
Less: Special WarrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Special WarrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory Appropriations$64,014N/AN/A$64,014$64,014N/A
Ministry Total Operating Expense$39,571,414$10,050,00034%$29,521,414$35,521,414footnote 2$38,679,561

Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2015-16

ItemMinistry Interim Actual Expenditures 2015-16footnote 3
Operating$32.52 million
Staff Strengthfootnote 4
(as of March 31, 2015)