Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Cabinet Office will lead a modern public service that is inclusive, people-focused and innovative, and supports the delivery of the government's agenda while enhancing the quality of government services for the people of Ontario.

Ministry’s mandate

The Cabinet Office acts as a central agency that supports the delivery of government priorities by developing and coordinating strategic policy and communications. The Cabinet Office monitors the implementation and delivery of the government’s mandate by working with ministries to coordinate and develop integrated strategies to deliver policy and program initiatives, communications, intergovernmental and international priorities.

Cabinet Office Communications is responsible for enterprise wide coordination of marketing strategies and services.

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

COVID‑19 response

The Cabinet Office maintains a leadership role in coordinating the government’s response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID‑19) pandemic. This responsibility includes:

  • establishing an effective and integrated crisis response architecture to enable rapid action and clear decision-making on complex, high priority issues to support the government’s pandemic response
  • coordinating the government’s response and ensuring that it is aligned with strategic priorities that focus on the most critical COVID‑19 issues facing the province
  • coordinating the multi-ministry development of Emergency Orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), in addition to other regulatory and statutory amendments necessary to address the pandemic in light of the declaration of a provincial emergency
  • maintaining and coordinating engagement with the federal government, provinces and territories on measures relating to COVID‑19
  • establishing and leading a Command Table on Supply Chain and Domestic Production that supports a whole-of-government approach to centrally coordinating the Public Sector supply chain
  • ensuring the Province’s crisis response framework and governance model are functioning as effectively as possible, which includes the effective and efficient dissemination of information to decision makers
  • ensuring continuity of operations of the Executive Council and formal government decision-making

The public health crisis caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic has precipitated an increase in the importance and volume of communications being issued by the Government of Ontario. Accordingly, in its role as a strategic coordinator of the Government’s communications, Cabinet Office continues to support the Office of the Premier and ministries on the delivery of all communications, digital, creative and marketing services that support ongoing priority actions. This ensures the Government is well positioned as a trusted and timely source of information to the public.

COVID‑19 response with respect to communications services include:

  • establishing and maintaining a unique and tailored response model to deliver on a fundamental shift in the needs, volume, priorities and expedited timelines of ministries and clients
  • procuring necessary technology and tools to support alternative methods of service delivery, e.g., media events, simultaneous translation and American Sign Language services to adhere to social distancing guidelines during delivery of critical government communications services

Ministry programs

Secretary of the Cabinet

As Deputy Minister to the Premier
  • provides independent public service advice to the Premier on government policies and priorities
  • recommends the appointment of Deputy Ministers for Premier’s Order-In-Council appointments
As Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary of the Cabinet
  • provides oversight of Cabinet decision-making
  • conveys Cabinet decisions to Ministers and Deputy Ministers
  • ensures the agenda for Cabinet and its committees reflect government policies and priorities
  • administers Oath of Office for the Premier’s Cabinet appointments
As Head of Ontario Public Service
  • leads the development and implementation of organizational transformation activities to achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes
  • fosters the development of a diverse, inclusive, collaborative, accountable and talented senior executive leadership team
  • champions the effective and efficient management, operation and organization of the public service

Policy & Delivery ensures that decision-making and the machinery of government operate effectively by working with ministries to provide objective, integrated and strategic advice that informs policy and fiscal decision-making; supports delivery of the government’s mandate by tracking milestones and risks relating to key government activities; and provides direct support to ministries who are seeking to use innovative and non-traditional techniques when tackling ministry priorities.

Cabinet Office Communications leads strategic planning to communicate priorities, initiatives and programs, and provides communications services and operational support services to the Office of the Premier. Beginning in 2020-21, marketing products and services will also be provided to ministries under a new and enhanced shared-service model that will establish a framework designed to create a more consistent, coherent and coordinated OPS “voice”; and provides value-added marketing services to support the effective delivery of signature government priorities

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs provides strategic advice, analysis and operational support for intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocol, and democratic institutions of government; works across government on intergovernmental funding arrangements and opportunities that align with Ontario’s strategic interests.

COVID‑19 response

Ministry programs have adapted to address the COVID‑19 outbreak through:

  • preparing for and operationalizing staff to be able to work from remote locations
  • ensuring staff have the tools to deliver in their positions from a remote location
  • providing additional training to leverage existing resources and tools
  • reviewing all Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) documentation to align with the specific reality of COVID‑19
  • strategically restructuring work flows to support service delivery changes in a completely digital and physically-disconnected environment
  • strategically focusing on operational, administrative and technological support to successfully adjust to the new environment
  • rapidly redeploying human capital to support the response model and creating agility within teams including the development and implementation of dedicated operational, policy and legal resources to:
    • support decision-making by the Lieutenant Governor and its committees in relation to the emergency
    • support a whole-of-government approach to centrally coordinating the Public Sector supply chain including leading Provincial efforts to source, buy and distribute critical supplies and to establish a nimble and responsive supply chain
    • coordinate the cross-government development over 44 emergency orders under the EMCPA and other regulatory and statutory amendments necessary to address the emergency
  • ensuring that strategic planning is undertaken to maintain agility and flexibility and to account for any uncertainty
  • maintaining regular Executive Management meetings with a focus on operations and service delivery
  • ensuring management is kept apprised of the situation and their support resources
  • maintaining regular communications across management teams in order to support continuous improvement measures

2020-21 strategic plan

The Cabinet Office delivers strategic advice, analysis and operational support to the Premier and the Cabinet in support of delivering government priorities by:

  • providing leadership and high-quality advice that informs policy and communications decision-making
  • supporting the implementation and enabling delivery of government priorities, and maintaining the processes for Cabinet decision-making and the machinery of government
  • providing administrative and operational support to the Office of the Premier in their role of coordinating government-wide activities, and enabling and supporting the transformation of services for the people of Ontario
  • providing marketing products and services to ministries under a new enhanced shared-service model
  • working across government on intergovernmental funding arrangements and opportunities to align with Ontario’s strategic interests
  • building key relationships in support of the government’s key intergovernmental and international priorities, and delivering operational support, analysis and strategic advice

The Cabinet Office continues to enhance and modernize workforce-centered delivery models to achieve its mandate. Organizational design and expenditure management strategies that have been implemented to increase the effectiveness of service delivery while driving ongoing efficiencies continue to be refined and further integrated into strategic and operational decision-making processes across the ministry.

The Cabinet Office continues to undertake the following actions to respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak, while providing uninterrupted and high-quality service to support the Office of the Premier and Cabinet throughout the crisis:

  • managing the array of policy, legislative, regulatory and strategic decisions required to quickly and effectively respond to the crisis
  • ensuring continuity of government decision-making and machinery of government throughout the crisis, including rapid adoption of digital tools and techniques
  • rapidly rolling out major communications campaigns to Ontarians
  • closely coordinating with other jurisdictions on COVID‑19 response and identifying opportunities to advance Ontario’s strategic interests, including in relation to health and economic supports for COVID‑19
  • ensuring the Province’s crisis response framework and governance model are functioning as effectively as possible, working with partner ministries and agencies to ensure a secure, nimble and responsive supply chain
Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2020-21 ($M footnote 1)
COVID‑19 approvals0.0
Other operating33.7

Cabinet Office 2020-21 Allocation

The following charts depict the ministry’s 2020-21 allocation ($33.7M) by vote/item and standard account.

Operating and capital by vote

Main Office: $33.3M


Government House Leader: $0.3M


Statutory Appropriations: $0.1M


Operating and capital summary by standard account ($M)

Salaries and Wages: $28.1M


Employee Benefits: $3.6M


Services: $1.4M


Transportation and Communications: $0.3M


Supplies and Equipment: $0.2M


Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined Operating and Capital Summary by Vote
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-21Change from Estimates 2019-20%Estimates 2019-20 footnote 2Interim Actuals 2019-20footnote 2Actuals 2018-19footnote 2
Operating Expense
Capital Expense
Main Office$33,279,700$2,098,6006.7$31,181,100$29,881,100$33,014,212
Government House Leader$328,000N/AN/A$328,000$328,000$316,856
Less: Special WarrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total Operating Expense to be Voted$33,607,700($2,098,600)6.7$31,509,100$30,209,100$33,331,068
Special WarrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory Appropriations$64,014N/AN/A$64,014$16,173$16,667
Ministry Total Operating Expense$33,671,714$2,098,6006.6$31,573,114$30,225,273$33,347,735
Consolidation adjustment - general real estate portfolio($477,500)$2,316,40082.9($2,793,900)($2,793,900)($2,746,037)
Total including consolidation and other adjustments$33,194,214$4,415,00015,3$28,779,214$27,431,373$30,601,698
Cabinet Office capitalN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total capital expense to be votedN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Special WarrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory AppropriationsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ministry total capital expenseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Consolidation adjustment - general real estate portfolioN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A($775,950)
Total including consolidation and other adjustmentsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A($775,950)
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)33,194,2144,415,00015.328,779,21427,431,37329,825,748
Historic trend table
Historic Trend Analysis DataActuals
2017-18footnote 3
2018-19footnote 3
2019-20footnote 3
2020-21footnote 3
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)$33,134,382$29,825,748$28,779,214$33,194,214
Percent changeN/A-10.0%-3.5%15.3%

Ministry organization chart

  • Secretary of the Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council - Steven Davidson
    • Director and Executive Assistant - Nancy Wittman
    • Senior Director and Legal Counsel - Don Fawcett
    • Deputy Minister, Communications - Nina Chiarelli
      • Executive Assistant - Stephane Baffier
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications - Kristen Routledge
        • Director, Client Service and Delivery - Peter Spadoni
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications - David Ayotte
        • Director, Client Service and Delivery - Peter Goltsis
      • Managing Director, Marketing and Digital Strategy - Burke Christian
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Central Agency Communications - Sofie di Muzio
      • Executive Lead, Organizational Transformation - Holly Moran
    • Deputy Minister, Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet - Lynn Betzner
      • Executive Assistant - Alexandra Tomescu
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic, Justice and International Relations Policy - Craig McFadyen
        • Director, Economic and Justice - Bryan Kozman
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Intergovernmental Affairs Policy and Protocol - Zoe Kroeker
        • Director, Federalism and Institutions - Erich Hartmann
        • Director, Canadian Intergovernmental Relations - Vacant
        • Director, International Relations and Chief of Protocol - Kara Rawson
    • Deputy Minister, Policy and Delivery, Associate Secretary of the Cabinet - Martha Greenberg
      • Executive Assistant - Graham Smith
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health, Social, Education and Children's Policy - Erin Hannah
        • Executive Coordinator, Education and Children's Policy - Gloria Lee
        • Executive Coordinator, Health and Social Policy - Joanne Anderson
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic, Environmental, Justice and Intergovernmental Policy - Vinay Sharda
        • Executive Coordinator, Justice, Resource, and Environmental - Greg Malczewski
        • Executive Coordinator, Economic, Transportation and Infrastructure Policy - Jesse Todres
      • Director, Strategy and Innovation - Karl Frost
      • Executive Coordinator and Senior Deputy Clerk, Executive Council - James Scott-Vickers
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Administative Officer, Corporate Planning and Services - Blair Dunker
      • Director, Human Resources Strategies and Services - Yvonne Chan
      • Director, Finance, Accomodation and Operations - Rob Foster


Annual report

Cabinet Office

  • provided strategic advice, coordination and operational/administrative support to the Office of the Premier, the Office of the Government House Leader and all Ministers’ Offices to ensure achievement of government priorities
  • continued to focus on fiscal sustainability and enforced strategies to manage spending within its allocation, while delivering sustainable programs and services that align with ministry-specific and government priorities
  • continued to ensure discretionary spending is restricted and aligns with core service delivery
  • managed resources in alignment with organizational goals; modernized organizational structures to better align with the ministry mandate; and reduced duplication of services and layers of administration to drive positive change across the organization
  • conducted a full review and update of the Cabinet Office COOP in preparation for unplanned emergencies

Policy and Delivery

  • provided objective, integrated and strategic policy advice to support and inform government decision-making, and the development of a multi-year action plan to deliver the government’s policy agenda
  • advanced development of an integrated application that supports planning and decision-making by centralizing information, providing digital scheduling tools, and tracking activities, milestones and delivery risks that make up the government’s multi-year plan
  • maintained a modern Cabinet decision-making process by leveraging a digital platform for the distribution and‎ publication of material for Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings
  • continued to develop, test and refine innovative approaches to collaborating with ministry partners across the OPS to solve complex policy, programming and service delivery challenges
  • directly supported the Secretary of the Cabinet and Premier’s Office in leading the province’s response to the global COVID‑19 pandemic
  • achieved efficiencies by streamlining operations, maximizing use of technology and pursuing more cost-efficient solutions to existing business lines

Cabinet Office Communications

  • coordinated and provided support for integrated strategic plans and materials developed to communicate government policies, programs and initiatives
  • provided writing services, event support and creative services for government announcements, facilitated modern, coordinated government communications
  • provided issues management support and media monitoring services
  • developed and maintained digital products and tools (including websites) ensuring the government is directly connected to the citizens it serves

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

  • provided strategic advice, analysis and support to promote Ontario’s national and international interests and objectives through intergovernmental and international engagement
  • provided support for Ontario’s participation at key intergovernmental meetings such as the Council of the Federation, First Ministers’ Meetings, and strategic engagements in the U.S. including with the National Governors Association, state governors and federal administration officials
  • provided strategic intergovernmental and international relations advice relating to key trade and other agreements
  • acted as an inter-ministry liaison in the development of key government policy initiatives
  • facilitated the enhanced coordination of international missions
  • planned and executed government protocol ceremonies, special events and visits of foreign dignitaries. Maintained a relationship with the consular corps

COVID‑19 response

Key actions taken in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic include:

  • led the government’s response to the COVID‑19 crisis, which included the redeployment of staff and creation of an integrated and effective crisis response architecture
  • directly supported the government’s crisis decision-making processes, which included organizing frequent Cabinet meetings and adopting new digital approaches to ensure continuity of government operations
  • coordinated numerous response work streams across government, while providing integrated and strategic advice to support rapid government decision-making
  • prepared and shifted staff to remote work environments in order to meet critical service delivery commitments outlined in the COOP, while abiding by social distancing measures
  • ensured the Province’s crisis response framework and governance model functioned effectively, and that information was effectively disseminated to decision makers in order to reinforce optimal decision-making
  • reported into the Central COVID‑19 Response Group on procurement and supply chain issues relating to critical goods and services and supported the governance structure for decisions on procurement and supply chain needs of all health and non-health sectors, ministries, Broader Public Sector and municipalities
  • worked with the federal government, provinces and territories to help advance critical elements of Ontario’s response to COVID‑19, including equipment and supplies, federal transfers and support programs for people and businesses
Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2019-20
COVID‑19 approvals ($Mfootnote 4$0.0
Other operating ($M)footnote 4$27.4
Capital ($M)footnote 4$0.0
Staff Strength footnote 5
As of March 31, 2020