Ministry overview


Cabinet Office’s mandate is to provide strategic advice, analysis, and operational support to government to deliver on its priorities. The ministry is also responsible for digital transformation and provides anti-racism leadership and expertise to address and prevent systemic racism.

The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs supports Ontario’s intergovernmental and international engagement.

Strategic goals and objectives

In support of its mandate, Cabinet Office supports the delivery of government priorities:

  • supports the implementation and delivery of policy priorities
  • delivers high quality and strategic advice to inform policy and fiscal decision-making
  • maintains the process of Cabinet decision-making and the machinery of government
  • ensures modern, coordinated government communications that are clear, easy to understand, and engage the people of Ontario
  • provides support to advance Ontario’s intergovernmental and international relations and protocol priorities

Cabinet Office is also delivering in the following areas:

  • The Inclusion, Diversity and Anti-Racism Division (IDARD) was created as a centre for excellence and focal point for enterprise-wide leadership on inclusion and diversity within the Ontario Public Service (OPS), as well as anti-racism within and outside of the OPS. IDARD will develop policies, measures and targets for the enterprise on inclusion, diversity and anti-racism. IDARD will collaborate across government – and with communities across Ontario to build inclusion capacity, competencies and expertise by using robust strategies and knowledge exchange tools.
  • The Ontario Digital Service will help ministries achieve their priorities through digital transformation, including overseeing the design and delivery of simple and straightforward online services and information for people and businesses.
  • The Policy Innovation Hub program was established to serve as a centre of excellence for innovative approaches to government policy making in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. This will enable Cabinet Office to lead innovative, cross-government policy development on select files, support ministries in applying innovative approaches to solving complex policy, programming and service delivery challenges, and develop a culture of innovation that generates better policy outcomes and increased staff engagement.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • implements long-term strategies for the future of the public service

Policy & Delivery

Policy & Delivery ensures decision-making and machinery of government operate effectively, works with ministries to provide policy advice to government, and supports the government to achieve its mandate by tracking policy and delivery milestones and assessing risk related to key government activities. This core mandate is delivered through two policy branches, the Executive Council Office, and the Strategy and Innovation Branch.

Cabinet Office Communications

Cabinet Office Communications (COC) leads strategic planning to communicate priorities, initiatives and programs. COC also provides communications services and operational support.

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs (MIA) provides advice and operational support for intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocol, as well as democratic institutions of government.

The Ontario Digital Service

The Ontario Digital Service (ODS) works with ministries and I&IT clusters to set a new standard for interacting with the government by improving the online experience for people and transforming the most important government services. In particular, the ODS will:

  • continue to transition ministry content to and partner with ministries to deliver a series of high-impact digital projects that will visibly change the citizens’ experience with government and achieve better value in measurable ways
  • develop a digital talent strategy to attract, nurture and empower in-demand digital skills across the organization
  • create a Digital Service Standard and associated assessment process to ensure consistently good online services across government
  • introduce internet-era approaches and technology (e.g. agile, cloud, service design, etc.) to improve policy and service delivery

Inclusion, Diversity and Anti-Racism Division

Anti-Racism Directorate targets systemic racism by building an anti-racism approach into the way government develops policies, makes decisions and measures success. A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan aims to:

  • reduce disparities and disproportionalities affecting Indigenous and racialized people in government policies, programs and services
  • increase public awareness and understanding of systemic racism
  • strengthen relationships with Indigenous and racialized communities through community collaboration
  • ensure long-term sustainability and accountability of the government’s anti-racism work
  • develop targeted public education and awareness initiatives that will focus on anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism against racialized groups

OPS Diversity Office plays a central leadership role in facilitating the development of inclusion strategies, providing support tools, and communicating and implementing key enterprise-wide initiatives to drive organizational change and move the organization closer to its vision of becoming a truly inclusive organization. It also:

  • leads and coordinates OPS-wide strategies, policies and accountability measures to build a more inclusive workplace
  • develops tools and shared expertise to guide ministries in developing more inclusive policies, program and public services
  • develops, promotes and coordinates learning to build awareness and capacities of staff at all levels
  • fosters dialogue, partnerships, and capacity building on inclusion issues through various mechanisms and support

Corporate Planning and Services

Corporate Planning and Services delivers timely, cost effective and efficient services and solutions for Cabinet Office and Office of the Premier in the areas of Human Resources, Finance, Corporate Planning and Projects, Accommodations and Operations.

Transfer payment – Policy Innovation Hub

Used to support the government’s policy innovation agenda to enable government to partner with leading external groups in the policy innovation space. The Hub will work closely with ministry partners to leverage external expertise to help advance policy priorities, better engage the public in co-creation opportunities, provide staff with exposure to different policy development tools and methods, and increase staff engagement.

Transfer payment – Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

Used to transmit funds to the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat 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 as needed 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, 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.

Cabinet Office 2017-18 allocation

The following charts depict the ministry’s 2017-18 allocation ($51.58 million) by vote/item and standard account.

Operating & capital by vote ($M)

Main Office: 50.07


Government House Leader: 0.33


Statutory Appropriations: 0.06


Cabinet Office Capital: 1.12


Operating & capital summary by standard account ($M)

Salaries and Wages: 31.68


Employee Benefits: 3.86


Transportation and Communications: 1.34


Services: 11.51


Supplies and Equipment: 0.59


Transfer Payments: 1.48


Other Transactions (Capital): 1.12


Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2017-18 ($M)


Highlights of 2016-2017 achievements

Policy & Delivery

  • provided strategic policy advice to inform government decision-making on a high volume of priority files
  • led cross-cutting projects – Community Hubs, Highly Skilled Workforce, transitioning responsibility to ministries for continued oversight and delivery when appropriate
  • built an application that supports planning and decision-making by tracking activities, milestones and risks that make up the government’s multi-year action plan
  • established Orders In Council online to support transparency / Open Government
  • advanced the modernization of the Cabinet decision-making process by implementing a digital platform for the distribution and‎ publication of Cabinet committee material, in alignment with the government’s digital strategy
  • launched the Policy Innovation Hub at the annual OPS policy community conference in November 2016
  • piloted a new approach to policy work that leverages crowd-sourcing to explore the potential policy implications of Automated Vehicles in Ontario
  • cultivated new relationships with external partners to better support embedding policy innovation tools and tactics across the OPS

Cabinet Office Communications

Developed communications strategy and materials to communicate with impact and reach. Key areas included:

  • coordination of strategic rollout of announcements
  • writing and tour support, including social media, events and engagements, correspondence, international missions, and intergovernmental meetings
  • writing and tour support for the Secretary of the Cabinet, including event logistics, written products and presentations
  • online and digital communications support, including social media channels, marketing and Newsroom
  • support and coordination for Freedom of Information requests to Cabinet Office and Premier’s Offices
  • comprehensive in-house, cross-OPS training for communicators
  • issues management, including crisis communications support and media monitoring

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

Provided advice and support on intergovernmental policy, international relations and protocol, and strategic interests. Major achievements included:

  • promotion of Ontario’s national and international interests and objectives through intergovernmental and international engagement
  • support for Ontario’s participation and national leadership efforts at key intergovernmental meetings, such as the 2016 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers and the 2016 First Ministers’ Meeting on climate change.
  • support for the Ontario-Quebec partnership with the sixth Ontario-Quebec Joint Cabinet Meeting in Toronto and associated announcements
  • support on a number of intergovernmental initiatives such as the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the completion and announcement of the Canada Free Trade Agreement, and an agreement for federal infrastructure funding
  • support for Ontario’s engagement in the U.S., including with key states and stakeholders
  • delivery of trade and investment missions abroad, including to Israel and the West Bank, Mexico, Japan and South Korea
  • introduction and passage of bills to transform election financing and to modernize elections in Ontario
  • successful execution of key protocol events

Ontario Digital Service

Significant progress was made in 2016/17 towards setting a strong foundation for digital transformation in the Ontario Government, including: appointment of Canada’s first Minister Responsible for Digital Government; hiring Ontario’s first Chief Digital Officer; creation of a new start-up Digital Government team; and building new talent streams through initiatives like Code for Canada and the Ontario Internship Program Digital Stream.

Working with partner ministries, ODS launched many successful products; highlights from 2016/17 include:

  • Budget Talks: Sought proposals from the public for projects that will make life better for Ontarians. 404 projects were submitted and vetted; the final 13 projects were made available online for public voting. The final projects, with funding commitments of up to $3 million were announced in the 2017 Budget
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Reform: Making it easier for students to learn about, and apply for, financial assistance for post-secondary education anywhere, anytime and on any device. A new OSAP calculator was launched in November 2016. A refreshed OSAP application process was launched in spring 2017
  • Map of Significant Infrastructure Projects: Collected quality data on over 2,600 significant infrastructure projects across the province, making it easier for Ontarians to understand the range of infrastructure investments happening in their communities
  • has resulted in costs savings for the government of approximately $2 million annually to date and now accounts for 50% of the government’s website traffic, with 7.5 million pages viewed by 4 million visitors each month

Inclusion, Diversity, and Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism Directorate

  • Held a series of 10 public meetings across Ontario. Engaged over 2,500 people in-person and over 2,000 via live streaming. Public meeting transcripts were posted on to support open government and dialogue.
  • In collaboration with ministries, input from community organizations and the public, developed and launched A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan. The Plan delineates concrete actions that the province will undertake to combat systemic racism and break down barriers that contribute to inequitable racial outcomes.
  • Worked with MIRR in providing input into the government’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations; developed an Indigenous Engagement Plan to work with Indigenous leaders, communities and partners on the development of an Indigenous Informed Anti-Racism Strategy, that will focus on identifying priorities, public education and awareness initiatives and programming (Youth Leading Youth and Professional ToolKit).
  • Raised awareness of systemic racism by supporting formal recognition in the Legislature of Black History Month, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the International Decade for People of African Descent and Yom HaShoah. In addition, hosted the second annual pan-Canadian Black Government Leaders Summit in Toronto.

OPS Diversity Office

  • Developed the OPS submission for Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, which garnered recognition for the OPS as one of the top employers for the tenth consecutive year.
  • Designed and delivered the Diversity Career Champions Program, a mentorship program connecting OPS senior leaders with staff from traditionally under-represented groups for learning about career planning and diversity.
  • Provided expert advice on OPS-wide and provincial strategies, such as the Provincial Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, Gender Identity and Sex Information on Government Public-facing Products and Forms policy and Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy.
  • Led the development of the 2017-2021 OPS Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, Moving Forward Together, in collaboration with enterprise business owners and ministries.

Corporate Planning and Services

  • provided comprehensive, strategic, and tactical corporate services for an increasing number of priority initiatives
  • enhanced strategic workforce planning including creative recruitment strategies, organizational capacity and design, and human capital planning and projects

Ministry organization chart

  • Secretary of the Cabinet — Head of the Ontario Public Service, Clerk of the Executive Council
    • Legal Counsel and Special Advisor
    • Special Advisor
    • Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and Deputy Minister — Ontario Digital Service
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Digital
        • Head — Digital Government
    • Deputy Minister — Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet
      • Ministry Communications Directors
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Communications
        • Director — Marketing & Digital Strategy
        • Director — Communications
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Communications
      • 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
      • Director — Operations
    • Deputy Minister — Policy & Delivery, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet
      • Executive Assistant
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Health, Social, Education & Children’s Policy
        • Executive Coordinator — Education & Children’s Policy
        • Executive Coordinator — Health & Social Policy
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Economic, Environmental, Justice & Intergovernmental Policy
        • Executive Coordinator — Justice, Resource & Environmental Policy
        • Executive Coordinator — Economic, Transportation & Infrastructure Policy
      • Executive Coordinator & Senior Deputy Clerk — Executive Council Office
      • Director — Strategy & Results
    • Associate Deputy Minister — Inclusion, Diversity & Anti‐Racism
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Inclusion & Diversity
        • Director
      • Assistant Deputy Minister — Anti-Racism Directorate
        • Director — Policy, Research & Strategic Initiatives
        • Director — Public Engagement, Education & Communications
    • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Assistant Deputy Minister — Corporate Planning & Services
      • Director — Strategic Financial & Operational Planning
      • Director — Human Resources Strategies & Services

Detailed financial information

Table 2: combined operating and capital summary by vote

Vote/ItemEstimates 2017-18 ($)Change from Estimates 2016-17 ($)% Change from Estimates 2016-17Estimates 2016-17* ($)Interim Actuals
2016-17* ($)
2015-16* ($)
Operating Expense      
Main Office50,070,90016,980,50051.3%33,090,40040,857,35330,874,898
Government House leader328,000 -- --328,000328,000323,906
Less: Special Warrants -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Operating Expense to be Voted50,398,90016,980,50050.8%33,418,40041,185,35331,198,804
Special Warrants -- -- -- -- -- --
Statutory Appropriations64,014 -- --64,01464,014 --
Ministry Total Operating Expense50,462,91416,980,50050.7%33,482,41441,249,36731,198,804
Capital Expense      
Cabinet Office Capital1,120,0001,119,000111,900.0%1,000 -- --
Less: Special Warrants -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Capital Expense to be Voted1,120,0001,119,000111,900.0%1,000 -- --
Special Warrants -- -- -- -- -- --
Statutory Appropriations -- -- -- -- -- --
Ministry Total Capital Expense1,120,0001,119,000111,900.0%1,000 -- --
Ministry Total Operating and Capital51,582,91418,099,50054.1%33,483,41441,249,36731,198,804

Table 3: Ministry interim actual expenditures 2016-17*

 2016-17 ($M)
Staff Strength**
(as of March 31, 2017)

* Estimates, Interim Actuals and Actuals for prior fiscal years are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure. Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the 2017 Ontario Budget.

** Ontario Public Service Full-Time Equivalent positions.