Ministry overview

Ministry's Vision

The Cabinet Office leads an inclusive and engaged future-state workforce that is committed to supporting the Premier, Executive Council and the people of Ontario by delivering on the government’s agenda.

Ministry’s Mandate

The Cabinet Office acts as a central agency to support the delivery of government priorities by developing and coordinating strategic policy and communications. It provides leadership to the entire public sector to ensure that the government is positioned to deliver on its priorities; and monitors the implementation and delivery of the government’s mandate. The Ministry also drives key initiatives including enterprise marketing services and the adoption of lean and continuous improvement principles across the organization.

The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs within the Cabinet Office leads intergovernmental and international relations strategies, as well as coordinating relevant engagement and protocols. In addition, the Cabinet Office is currently providing support to the newly established Ministry of Legislative Affairs, which is responsible for planning the reconstruction of the Ontario Legislative Building.

The Cabinet Office also provides administrative services 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 COVID‑19 pandemic and will continue to support the strategic alignment of organizational priorities with the government’s pandemic response economic recovery efforts. This includes leading and coordinating intergovernmental outreach, integrating planning activities across the organization and facilitating communications relating to COVID‑19.

Ministry programs

Secretary of the Cabinet

As Deputy Minister to the Premier

  • Provides independent public service advice to the Premier on government policies, priorities and public facing communications.
  • Recommends the appointment of Deputy Ministers for the 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 reflects government policies and priorities.
  • Administers Oath of Office for the Premier’s Cabinet appointments.

As Head of the 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 of the public service.

Policy and Delivery

Policy and Delivery ensures the machinery of government operates effectively by working with ministries to provide objective, integrated and strategic advice that informs policy and fiscal decision-making. This includes supporting the delivery of the government’s mandate by tracking milestones and risks relating to key government activities and providing direct support to ministries that seek to use innovative techniques when delivering on ministry priorities. Policy and Delivery also leads enterprise-wide lean and continuous improvement efforts to ensure key government programs will improve the lives of Ontarians. The Office works with ministries to redesign core processes to improve productivity and scale improvements.

Cabinet Office Communications

Cabinet Office Communications provides direct communication and operational support for the Office of the Premier and the Secretary of the Cabinet. This includes marketing, advertising, social media, digital analytics and media buying services, for government programs and initiatives. Strategic decision-making support, coordination and enterprise-wide capacity building are also provided to assist in continuous improvement and service delivery in the communications community.

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs provides analysis and operational support for Canadian intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocols, and democratic institutions of government. It supports the Premier at First Ministers’ Meetings and the Council of the Federation, as well as on international missions. It also works across the government on intergovernmental agreements, including funding arrangements with the federal government and opportunities that align with Ontario’s strategic interests.

Ministry of Legislative Affairs

The newly established Ministry of Legislative Affairs will work with the Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and other partners to plan and lead the reconstruction of the Ontario Legislative Building.

Corporate Planning and Services

The Corporate Planning and Services Division provides corporate services and strategic support relating to operations, accommodations, finance, human resources and IT services for the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Premier and Ministers’ Offices.

COVID‑19 Response

Ongoing COVID-response efforts that are led by the Cabinet Office include:

  • Ensuring the machinery of government continues to operate effectively throughout the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Ministry works with line ministries to coordinate the whole-of-government response and actions in response to COVID‑19.
  • Ensuring continuity of the government’s legislative agenda. Highlighting the province’s legislative efforts to support pandemic response recovery.
  • Planning and coordinating strategic communications across the organization, as well as providing marketing services for government programs and initiatives that are related to COVID‑19 and vaccinations.
  • Working with key partners including the federal government, and other provincial and territorial governments to advance Ontario’s priorities in response to COVID‑19 and support Ontario’s economic recovery.
  • Providing direct corporate services support and solutions to the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Premier, Ministers’ Offices and the Secretary of Cabinet to support pandemic response and economic recovery.

2022–23 Strategic plan

The Cabinet Office will continue to deliver strategic advice, analysis, and operational support to the Premier, the Cabinet and its committees to support the delivery of government priorities by:

  • Providing leadership and high-quality advice that informs policy and communications decision-making.
  • Supporting the implementation, delivery and tracking of government priorities, and maintaining the processes for Cabinet decision-making and the machinery of government.
  • Working directly with ministry partners to assist in addressing policy and program delivery challenges by providing in-house, hands-on public sector innovation consulting services.
  • Driving application and sustainment of lean practices throughout policy/ program design to find efficiencies and improve service delivery across the organization.
  • Supporting efforts and activities related to the Ontario Legislative Building Reconstruction Project.
  • Providing administrative and operational support to the Office of the Premier in their role of coordinating government-wide activities that enabling the transformation of services for the people of Ontario.
  • Leading process review and policy design initiatives to promote the improvement of service delivery across the organization.
  • Providing marketing products, strategy, and integrated services to ministries under the enhanced marketing model.
  • Modernize communications delivery through the use of technology to meet the needs of constantly evolving government policy and program priorities.
  • Working across the government on intergovernmental agreements including funding arrangements, to promote Ontario’s key intergovernmental and international interests and priorities.
  • Building key relationships to help advance the government’s intergovernmental and international priorities, and delivering operational support, analysis, and strategic advice.
  • Delivering effective corporate support and services to the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Premier, and Ministers’ Offices staff.
  • Providing recruitment support to the Office of the Premier and Ministers’ Offices.

The Cabinet Office will also continue to enhance and modernize workforce-centered delivery models to achieve its mandate. Organizational design and expenditure management strategies implemented to increase the effectiveness of service delivery, and efficiencies continue to be refined and further integrated into strategic and operational decision-making processes across the Ministry. In continuing with this process, the Cabinet Office will also be utilizing enterprise capacity building to support improvement activities and performance throughout the Communications community.

COVID‑19 Response

The Cabinet Office will continue to provide a leadership role by coordinating the government’s response to COVID‑19, which will include:

  • Centrally coordinate activities and enhance core service delivery with ministries.
  • Ensuring decision making and the machinery of government continue to operate effectively throughout the pandemic.
  • Managing the array of policy, legislative, regulatory, and strategic decisions required to quickly and effectively respond to the evolving pandemic and recovery.
  • Rapidly rolling out major communications and marketing campaigns to Ontarians to ensure they have timely information.
  • Closely coordinating with other provincial, territorial, and federal jurisdictions on COVID‑19 response and identifying opportunities to advance Ontario’s strategic interests, including in relation to health and economic recovery supports for COVID‑19.
Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2022–23
COVID‑19 Approvals0.0
Other Operating42.6

Cabinet Office 2022–23 allocation

The following charts depict the Ministry’s 2022–23 allocation ($42.6M) by vote/item and standard account.

Operating and capital by vote ($M)

Main office: $42.2M


Government House Leader: $0.3M


Statutory Appropriations: $0.1M


Operating and capital summary by standard account ($M)

Salaries and wages: $34.2M


Employee benefits: $4.4M


Services: $3.4M


Transportation and communications: $0.3M


Supplies and equipment: $0.2M


Transfer payments: $0.0M


Detailed financial information

Cabinet Office

Table 2: Combined operating and capital summary by vote
Change from estimates
$footnote 1
Interim actuals
$footnote 1
$footnote 1
Operating expense
Main office42,227,1007,104,60020.235,122,50038,465,10036,491,837
Government House Leader328,000N/AN/A328,000328,000327,729
Less: Special warrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total operating expense to be voted42,555,1007,104,60020.035,450,50038,793,10036,819,566
Special warrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory appropriations64,014N/AN/A64,01464,01439,045
Ministry total operating expense42,619,1147,104,60020.035,514,51438,857,11436,858,611
Consolidation adjustment — general real estate portfolioN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total including consolidation and other adjustments42,619,1147,104,60020.035,514,51438,857,11436,858,611
Capital expense
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/AN/A
Total including consolidation and other adjustmentsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)42,619,1147,104,60020.035,514,51438,857,11436,858,611
Historic trend table
Historic trend analysis dataActuals
$footnote 2
$footnote 2
$footnote 2
$footnote 2
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)28,229,59336,858,61135,514,51442,619,114
Percent changeN/A30.6%−3.6%20.0%

Ministry organization chart

As of September 13, 2022

  • Premier and President of the Council — Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Secretary of the Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council — Michelle DiEmanuele
      • Director and Executive Assistant — Melanie Milczynski
      • Senior Director and Legal Counsel — Don Fawcett
      • Deputy Minister, Communications and Associat Secretary of the Cabinet — Sarah Harrison
        • Executive Assistant — Stephane Baffler
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Partnerships — Lisa Legatto
          • Director, Strategic Partnerships — Kayley Chiddy
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Central Agency Communications — Sofie DiMuzio
          • Director, Central Agency Communications
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Marketing, Enterprise Services and Insights — Kirsten Evans
          • Managing Director, Marketing and Digital Strategy — Ryan Huber
          • Director, Enterprise Capacity Building — Crystal Samuels
        • Executive Lead of Communications and Engagement for the Head of the Ontario Public Service — Candice Debi
      • Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs — Alexandra Sutton
        • Director and Executive Assistan — Kyle Brown
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economics, Justice and International Relations Policy — Craig McFadyen
          • Director, Economics, Justice and International Relations Policy — Stephen Laurent
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Intergovernmental Affairs Policy and Protocol — Zoe Kroeker
          • Director, Federalism and Institutions — Eric Hartman
          • Director, International Relations and Chief of Protocol — Kara Rawson
          • Director, Canadian Intergovernmental Relations — Ragaven Sabaratnam
      • Deputy Minister, Policy and Delivery — Shannon Fuller
        • Director and Executive Assistant — Jeffrey Ong
        • Asistant Deputy Minister, Lean and Continuous Improvement Office — Rachel Kampus
          • Director, Lean and Continuous Improvement — Christopher Irwin
          • Director, Lean Strategy, Training and Capacity — Kelly Villeneuve
        • Assistant Deputy Minister — Jonathan Lebi
          • Director, Education and Children's Policy — Jenarra DeSouza
          • Director, Health and Social Policy — Zaynah Jamal
          • Director, CCT Secretariat — Andrea Barton
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic, Environmental, Justice and Intergovernmental Policy — David McClean
          • Director, Economic, Transportation and Infrastructure Policy — Jeffrey Walters
          • Director, Justice, Resource and Environmental Policy — Lucy Kang
        • Director, Transformation and Culture — Karl Frost
        • Director, Strategy and Innovation — Ryan Boyd
        • Director, Executive Council Office — James Scott-Vickers
        • Director, Legislative Affairs — Graham Smith
      • Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Administrative Officer Corporate Planning and Services — Melissa Thomson
        • Director Human Resources Strategies and Services — Yvonne Chan
        • Director, Finance, Operational Support and Services — Robert Foster
    • Minister of Legislative Affairs and the Government House Leader — Minister Paul Calandra


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 limit discretionary spending in alignment with core service delivery by achieving prior year ministry savings targets.
  • Continued to manage resources in alignment with organizational goals; and reduced duplication of services and layers of administration to drive positive change across the organization.

Policy and Delivery

  • Provided objective, integrated and strategic policy advice to support and inform data-driven government decision-making as well as the development of a multi-year action plan to deliver the government’s policy agenda.
  • Supported the government as it reconfigured its policy agenda and program objectives to redirect and reprioritize resources to address the COVID‑19 pandemic.
  • Reoriented its own internal processes in convening Cabinet/Cabinet Committee meetings and providing advice to government to facilitate rapid decision-making in an uncertain environment.
  • Advanced development of an integrated application that supports agenda planning and Cabinet’s 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, service delivery and strategic development challenges.
    • This included the creation of special Integration Teams, including the establishment of the Vehicle Sticker Refund Project Team to support and coordinate across multiple ministries to ensure rapid delivery of policy, legislation, program change and creation, communication, and issue of an expected $7.3M in refunds to Ontarians.
  • Integrated the Lean and Continuous Improvement Office into the Policy and Delivery Division to continue embedding lean principles into the policy and program cycle while leading and supporting process improvement reviews of government initiatives.
  • Continued to spread adoption of lean through applied projects, knowledge and understanding of lean principles and practices, and increased capacity at an executive level, with more than 10,000 OPS staff and OPS leadership trained, and a Lean Executive Champion established in every ministry.

Cabinet Office Communications

  • Delivered an unprecedented volume of urgent and complex communications and marketing campaigns to ensure timely information was available to the public, while maintaining legislated delivery standards for communications priorities.
  • 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 and facilitated modern, coordinated government communications.
  • Improved Cabinet Office Communications’ delivery of strategic advice by integrating value-added information to support preventative issues management approaches.
  • Provided centralized media monitoring services.
  • Developed and maintained digital and marketing products and tools (including websites) to ensure that the government is directly connected to the citizens it serves.
  • Oversaw, developed, and executed approximately $75M in best-in-class multi-channel and multi-lingual paid marketing strategies, including creative and media, delivering on government and ministry priorities.
  • Leveraged new technologies to improve the return on investment for government marketing activities and to increase enterprise capacity.
  • Completed the transformation of Cabinet Office Communications in response to rapidly increasing regular and pandemic-related marketing, digital, and creative demands on program resources, allowing the program to maintain an enhanced and modernized level of core service delivery while responding dynamically to new sudden demands such as the Vaccines Project Team.
    • Established initial Data Management Platform strategy to support data automation, analytics, and insights to provide strategic advice to PO and clients, while partnering with the Central Agency IandIT Cluster to leverage common digital platforms as well as to reduce IT footprint and maintenance costs.
    • Created capacity to deliver in-house marketing and communications, as well as modernized the Ontario Newsroom content management system and subscription service.
  • Embarked on innovative structural changes to facilitate integration and alignment across the OPS.
  • Utilized technology-driven solutions to reduce operational costs and to create faster information sharing and delivery times.

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 (over 30 Premiers and officials calls, and the Premier’s participation at the COF Summer Meeting in Victoria, July 11–12), First Ministers’ Meetings, and strategic engagements with U.S state-level partners (including the Premier’s Trade Mission to Washington in March).
  • Provided strategic intergovernmental and international relations advice relating to key trade and other agreements, including supporting the Premier’s participation in the Atlantic Summit to advance a federal ask on health care.
  • Acted as an inter-ministry liaison in the development of key government policy initiatives, including recent federal agreements to address COVID‑19 related priorities.
  • Planned and executed government protocol ceremonies, special events and visits of foreign dignitaries including delivery the government’s Swearing-In Ceremony (June 24) and Transition of the Crown. Maintained effective relationships with the consular corps, including supporting over 90 international meetings and engagements to date.
  • Donated $0.3M through the International Disaster Relief Program to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) for humanitarian aid to Ukraine in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troOPS.

Ministry of Legislative Affairs

  • Provided dedicated policy, coordination and project management support for the Ontario Legislative Building Reconstruction Project while also ensuring the continuation of the government’s priorities in the legislature.

Corporate Planning and Services

  • Delivered direct corporate support and services to the staff of the Office of the Premier and Ministers’ Offices.
  • Worked with OPS enterprise partners to deliver effective corporate services support and solutions.
  • Provided accommodations, operations, finance and human resources support, consulting and advisory services and IandIT support to staff of the Cabinet Office.
  • Enhanced training and development opportunities and expanded the delivery of OPS development programs to ministry and political staff.

COVID‑19 Response

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

  • Supported the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Office of the Premier in leading the province’s response to the global COVID‑19 pandemic:
    • Coordinated the government’s response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, such as through the internal redeployment of staff and the creation of an integrated and effective whole-of-government COVID‑19 response structure through an enhanced Incident Management Structure comprised of three key components: an Oversight Table, Central Coordination Table and OPS response Tables.
    • Convened 95 Central Coordination Table meetings in 2021–22 with 277 agenda items.
  • Implemented other organizational structures (i.e., dedicated teams) to support COVID‑19 priorities (e.g., Supply Chain Transformation Office and the COVID‑19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, which have now been shifted to the Ministries of Government and Consumer Services and Solicitor General, respectively).
  • Supported the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee and led the development of economic reopening and response frameworks.
  • Ensured that the province’s pandemic response framework and governance model function effectively and that information was disseminated to decision-makers in order to reinforce optimal decision-making.
  • Led the development of the Provincial Emergency Volunteer Initiative, a 2020 budget commitment and a priority of the Office of the Premier. This resulted in the launch of the Ontario COVID‑19 Volunteer Portal in December 2021. The initiative has since been transferred to the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
  • Partnered with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to develop an investment strategy to continue funding for and scale network testing and research to detect COVID‑19 in wastewater.
  • Directly supported urgent government decision-making processes, which included organizing frequent Cabinet meetings and adopting new digital approaches to ensure continuity of government operations.
    • Convened over 120 Cabinet meetings in 2021–22.
  • Established a Mental Health Wellness program to support employee mental health, wellness, and resilience.
  • Conducted mental health sessions for ministry staff.
  • Worked closely with the Office of the Premier and political staff to tailor and share OPS communications regarding COVID‑19 and updates on the Graduated Return to OPS Workplaces to promote safety and ensure business continuity.
  • Used innovative technology and adjusted work practices to stabilize methods of remote work (i.e., remote approvals), allowing the decision-making structure to continue unimpeded while keeping workplaces safe.
  • 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.
  • Supported the Premier with daily media briefings and by developing web content and strategic, paid multi-channel marketing to amplify information and messaging.
  • Led strategic communications planning and coordination across the OPS on vaccine and COVID‑19 related items.
  • Launched a microsite dedicated to COVID‑19 content and services in partnership with ODS and MOH.
  • Ensured the provision of marketing, including advertising, social media, digital analytics, and media buying for vaccine and COVID‑19 related government programs and initiatives.
  • Over the course of the pandemic, inclusive of 2021–22, Cabinet Office Communications has led 20 COVID-related creative marketing phases in 28 languages. This represents a total COVID‑19 marketing spend of $113.2M (2020–21: $75M, 2021–22: $38.2M).
  • Led intergovernmental engagement which resulted in $2 billion supplementary federal health funding (approximately $780 million to Ontario) in 2021–22.
  • Facilitated the donation and transportation of emergency medical supplies to India and Nepal, in response to the COVID‑19 Crisis.
Table 3: Ministry interim actual expenditures 2021–22
($M)footnote 3
COVID‑19 Approvals2.4
Other Operating36.5
Staff Strengthfootnote 4
(as of March 31, 2022)