Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Cabinet Office is the Premier’s ministry, providing essential strategic advice and analysis to support the Premier and Cabinet to achieve the government’s priorities.

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 also supports and monitors the implementation and delivery of the government’s mandate and drives key initiatives, including enterprise communications and marketing services, the adoption of lean principles and practices across the government, and providing oversight to the public appointments process. The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs within the Cabinet Office leads Canadian and international intergovernmental strategies relations, and protocol. The Ministry of Red Tape Reduction within the Cabinet Office works with partners across the Ontario Public Service to identify, drive, and enable impactful opportunities for reducing burden, modernizing legislation, regulations, and policies, and facilitating greater ease at which businesses and individuals work with government. The Digital Strategy Office within the Cabinet Office leads the development and implementation of the OPS Service Framework, an all-of-government approach to deliver seamless and integrated services that are user-friendly and intuitive.

Key priorities

The Cabinet Office contributes to the following government priorities:

  • Supports the implementation and delivery of policy priorities, including providing strategic advice to inform policy and fiscal decision-making.
  • Drives the delivery of priority transformation initiatives across government.
  • Maintains the process of Cabinet decision-making and the machinery of government.
  • Partners with ministries on priority strategies, policies, and programs to redesign systems, organizations, and services to simplify processes, improve efficiency, and achieve outcomes.
  • Ensures modern and coordinated government communications that are clear and easy to understand and engage with the people of Ontario.
  • Provides timely communications to the public, which is monitored through the response times of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and compliance with correspondence response standards.
  • Leads the creation of a purpose-driven workplace culture that attracts, develops, and retains skilled and diverse talent.
  • Leads the implementation of Ontario’s first-ever Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Determines organization-wide human resource strategy through the People Plan to champion modern working, growth, and development. Provides support to advance Ontario’s intergovernmental and international relations and protocol priorities, including negotiations, building key relationships, and actively engaging other levels of government.
  • Provides support to building a strong Ontario, including improving the quality of interactions with businesses, reducing administrative and regulatory burden, and ensuring a competitive business climate in the province. The reduction in regulatory compliance requirements is monitored on an annual basis.
  • Leads the Unleashing a Competitive Ontario by Cutting Overregulation Strategy and is committed to achieving a 1% annual reduction in Regulatory Compliance Requirements with a long-term goal of a 25% reduction.

Ministry programs

Secretary of the Cabinet

As Deputy Minister to the Premier:

  • Provides independent advice to the Premier on government policies, priorities, and oversees implementation of the government’s mandate by the Ontario Public Service.
  • 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:

  • Ensures effective public service support for the deliberations and decision-making of the Executive Council and its Committees.
  • Provides advice on government and Crown matters.
  • Responsible for overseeing the machinery of government, supporting Cabinet Office decision-making, and conveying the decisions of the Executive Council to the public service for implementation.

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 government operates effectively at implementing its priorities by working with ministries to provide objective, integrated and strategic advice to the Office of the Premier, the Secretary of the Cabinet, and to Cabinet and its committees. It supports the process of Cabinet decision-making, including the operation of Cabinet and Cabinet committees, the coordination of the development of policy and legal instruments, and the tracking of milestones and risks of government policy and delivery priorities. The division also provides policy and operational support for the machinery of government, such as swearing in the Cabinet, holding by-elections, and facilitating the relationship with the Lieutenant Governor. Policy and Delivery supports ministries in delivering key government priorities through public sector innovation consulting, lean and continuous improvement capacity building, and project delivery to ensure government processes will improve the lives of Ontarians.

Cabinet Office Communications

Cabinet Office Communications provides direct communications and operational support for the Office of the Premier and the Secretary of the Cabinet. This includes marketing, advertising, social media, digital analytics, public opinion research, and media buying services for government programs and initiatives. In addition, strategic decision-making support, coordination, and enterprise-wide capacity building are also provided to assist in continuous improvement and service delivery across the Ontario Public Service’s communications community.

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs provides policy analysis, strategic advice and operational support for Canadian intergovernmental relations, international relations and protocols, and democratic institutions of government. The Ministry supports the Premier in First Ministers’ Meetings and the Council of the Federation, during international meetings and missions, and in state ceremonial events. The Ministry works across the government on intergovernmental agreements, including funding arrangements with the federal government and opportunities that align with Ontario’s strategic interests. The Ministry also administers the province’s International Disaster Relief Program.

Ministry of Red Tape Reduction

The Ministry of Red Tape Reduction works to reduce burden on businesses and individuals to build a more efficient and competitive Ontario. Alongside ministry partners, it identifies opportunities, enables progress, and leads work to modernize legislation, regulations, and policies, making it easier to interact with government. The ministry informs this work by directly engaging and consulting with stakeholders to surface innovative ideas for meaningful red tape reduction.

Digital Strategy Office

The Digital Strategy Office leads the development and implementation of the OPS Service Framework, an all-of-government approach to deliver seamless and integrated services to users. The office provides a secretariat function to the Deputy Minister Committee on Service Delivery, which was launched to provide governance and leadership on enterprise-wide service delivery and oversight on key service initiatives aligned with the OPS Service Framework. Digital Strategy Office is also developing a new enterprise-wide service standard that will define what a good service in the OPS is. This work is informed by cross-enterprise engagement and collaboration with ministry partners.

2023–24 strategic plan

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

  • Cabinet Office will continue to lead government policy and delivery by ensuring that ministries seeking direction from Cabinet on policy, legislation, or other key priorities obtain adequate and timely support and advice from the public service.
  • Opportunities and challenges will continue to be identified and addressed by providing in-house public sector innovation consulting services, which lowers the need for ministries to hire vendors, reduces risk, and improves outcomes for Ontarians.
  • Behavioural insights will be leveraged to further improve outcomes by increasing channel switching from analog to digital service options and supporting the uptake of programs that promote economic and social inclusion.
  • Services for citizens and businesses will continue to be simplified and streamlined by embedding lean and continuous improvement principles and practices.
  • Enterprise-wide communications will continue to be modernized through enhanced service delivery focused on client support and technology, and will be further supported by digital platforms, data tools, and research insights that will enable the achievement of efficiency targets.
  • Communication with the public will be improved through investment and the ongoing achievement of performance measures tied to service standards.
  • Enterprise-wide communications capacity will be strengthened through talent development strategies focusing on learning, technology, and performance.
  • Organizational design, workforce-centered delivery models and expenditure management strategies will continue to be refined to inform ongoing decision-making processes and to support prudent fiscal planning.
  • Dedicated support will continue to be provided to the Office of the Premier, Secretary of the Cabinet, and Ministers’ Offices.

The Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs will continue to support the Premier, the Office of the Premier, the Secretary of the Cabinet, the Cabinet Office, and the Lieutenant Governor on intergovernmental and international relations and protocol, strategic planning, and policy coordination.

  • Fiscal and program benefits will be maximized across the government by engaging in intergovernmental agreements and ongoing negotiations with ministry partners.
  • Support for key activities, such as the Premier’s and ministers’ international meetings and missions and the province’s state ceremonial events, will continue to be provided.
  • International humanitarian aid will continue to be administered through the International Disaster Relief Program.

The Ministry of Red Tape Reduction will continue to deliver strategic advice and analysis to the Minister of Red Tape Reduction.

  • Regulatory impact analyses will be reviewed as part of the process for quantifying the impact of legislative and regulatory changes on businesses and enhancing policy development and decision-making.
  • Outdated, redundant, or ineffective laws and regulations will be removed through the development of Red Tape Reduction packages, while important regulations that protect the health and safety of individuals and the environment will be maintained.
  • Ideas that help drive and enable impactful red tape reduction proposals will be sourced through roundtables that will engage and build open lines of communication with stakeholders involved in retail, non-profit, supply chain, and agribusiness.
  • Public consultation on provincial policy instruments that affect regulated entities will be strengthened to improve policy decisions by leading Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. Issues relating identified by stakeholders and the public will continue to be tracked, analyzed, and resolved.
  • Hands-on regulatory modernization expertise will be provided to support collaboration efforts across government with delivering on projects, including the completion of a ten-year Mandatory Regulatory Review requirement that was outlined in Burden Reduction Directive.
  • Enterprise-level work will be supported by the continued development of a digital platform (ONReg) that tracks progress reporting on red tape reduction.
  • Regulatory impact analysis training will be provided to policy professionals across the Ontario Public Sector to support the reduction of red tape based on requirements from the Modernizing Ontario for People and Businesses Act.
  • Public reports on reducing regulatory burden on individuals and businesses will be developed to support transparency of how the government is cutting red tape.

The Digital Strategy Office will continue to develop the OPS Service Framework, which will support the delivery of seamless and integrated digital services to users in support of the transformation of services to all Ontarians.

Table 1: Planned Expenditures 2023–24
ItemAmount
($M)
Operating55.58
Capital0.0
Total55.58

Cabinet Office 2023–24 Allocation

The following charts depict the ministry’s 2023–24 allocation ($55.6M) by vote/item and standard account.

Ministry Operating by Vote ($M)

401-1 — Main Office: $55.1M

99%

401-2 — Government House Leader: $0.3M

1%

401-5 — Statutory Appropriations: $0.1M

<1%

Operating Summary by Standard Account ($M)

Salaries and wages: $43.6M

79%

Employee benefits: $5.6M

10%

Services: $5.6M

10%

Transportation and communications: $0.4M

1%

Supplies and equipment: $0.3M

<1%

Transfer payments: $0.0M

<1%

Detailed financial information

Cabinet Office

Table 2: Combined Operating and Capital Summary by Vote

Operating expense
Votes/programsEstimates
2023–24
$
Change from estimates
2022–23
$
%Estimates
2022–23
$footnote 1
Interim actuals
2022–23
$footnote 1
Actuals
2021–22
$footnote 1
Main office55,128,8005,561,30011.249,567,50049,772,50046,900,830
Government House Leader328,000N/AN/A328,000328,000321,664
Total operating expense to be voted55,456,8005,561,30011.149,895,50050,100,50047,222,494
Special warrantsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Statutory appropriations128,02864,014100.064,01464,01479,786
Ministry total operating expense55,584,8285,625,31411.349,959,51450,164,51447,302,280
Consolidation adjustment — general real estate portfolioN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total including consolidation and other adjustments55,584,8285,625,31411.349,959,51450,164,51447,302,280
Capital expense
Votes/programsEstimates
2023–24
$
Change from estimates
2022–23
$
%Estimates
2022–23
$footnote 1
Interim actuals
2022–23
$footnote 1
Actuals
2021–22
$footnote 1
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)55,584,8285,625,31411.349,959,51450,164,51447,302,280
Historic trend table
Historic trend analysis dataActuals
2020–21
$footnote 2
Actuals
2021–22
$footnote 2
Estimates
2022–23
$footnote 2
Estimates
2023–24
$footnote 2
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)49,231,77647,302,28049,959,51455,584,828
Percent change (%)N/A−3.95.611.3

Ministry organization chart

As of April 1, 2023

  • Premier and President of the Council — Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Secretary of the Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council — Michelle DiEmanuele
      • Senior Director and General Counsel — Don Fawcett
      • Director and Executive Assistant to the SOC — Melanie Milczynski
      • Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs — Alexandra Sutton
        • Exceutive Assistant — Amy Best
        • Assistant Deputy International Relations and Protocol — Kara Rawson
          • Director, Protocol and Operations — Vacant
          • Director, International Relations and Missions — Vacant
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Intergovernmental Relations — Zoe Kroeker
          • Director, Federalism and Institutions — Eric Hartman
          • Director, Economics and Justice Policy — Stephen Laurent
          • Director, Health and Social Policy — Ragaven Sabaratnam
          • Director — Tim Lewis
      • Deputy Minister, Communications and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet — Sarah Harrison
        • Executive Assistant — Aneesa Ghany
        • Director, Operations and SOC Communications — Amanda Mizerski
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health, Education, Social and Resources — Lisa Legatto
          • Director, Health, Education, Social and Resources — Kayley Chiddy
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic, Justice and Central Agency Communications — Sofie DiMuzio
          • Director, Economic, Justice and Central Agency Communications — Shannon Grimes
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Marketing, Enterprise Services and Insights — Kirsten Evans
          • Managing Director, Marketing and Creative Strategy — Ryan Huber
          • Director, Enterprise Capacity Building — Tannis Fenton
          • Director, Enterprise Capacity Building — Crystal Samuels
        • Lead, Internal Communications — Candice Debi
      • Deputy Minister, Policy and Delivery — Martha Greenberg
        • Director and Executive Assistant — Jeffrey Ong
        • Asistant Deputy Minister, Lean and Continuous Improvement Office — Rachel Kampus
          • Director, Lean Projects and Programs — Christopher Irwin
          • Director, Lean Strategy, Training and Capacity — Kelly Villeneuve
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Health, Social, Education and Children’s Policy — Zaynah Jamal
          • Director, Education and Children’s Policy — Jenarra DeSouza
          • Director, Health and Social Policy — Stephanie (Rae) Whitton
        • 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, Executive Council Office — James Scott-Vickers
        • Director, Strategy and Innovation — Ryan Boyd
      • Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Administrative Officer, Corporate Planning and Services — Melissa Thomson
        • Director Human Resources Strategies and Services — Cathy Cheng
        • Director, Finance, Operational Support and Services — Robert Foster
      • Deputy Minister, Digital Strategy Office, Chief Digital and Data Officer — Vacant
        • Executive Assistant — Flora Cirinna
        • Director, Strategy and Governance — Sirad Mohamoud
      • Deputy Minister, Red Tape Reduction — Maud Murray
        • Executive Assistant — Cameron Yu
        • Assistant Deputy Minister, Red Tape Reduction — Rakhi Lad
          • Director Lead, Office of Red Tape Reduction — Tom Kaszaz
          • Director, Strategic Policy and Research — Morella Aguirre
    • Minister, Red Tape Reduction — Parm Gill

Annual report

The 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 striving for service excellence and delivering the programs and services that Ontarians rely on.
  • 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.
  • Formed and led a public service transition team and governance structure that provided both guidance on how to prepare for transition and advice to the government and senior public service officials on government operations during the months leading up to and through the election period.
  • Led the Ontario Public Service as steward during the Election period and ensured that the core business of government continued to operate while respecting election period protocols and remaining prepared to support a new or returning government.
  • Upheld public confidence in the Ontario Public Service’s ability and duty to prepare and deliver a seamless government transition.
  • Used lessons from the pandemic to build governance structures, data analytics and reporting systems, and an all-of-government approach to emergency management.

Policy and Delivery

  • Provided objective, integrated, and strategic policy advice to support evidence-driven government decision-making and the development of the government’s policy agenda.
  • Ensured a cohesive approach across government priorities and initiatives, which including guiding ministries to effectively deliver and monitor progress of initiatives.
  • 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.
  • 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 and advancing development of an integrated application that supports agenda planning by centralizing information, providing digital scheduling tools, and tracking commitments.
  • Embedded lean principles into the policy and program cycle while leading and supporting process improvement reviews of government initiatives.
  • Supported ministries with the implementation or assessment of lean recommendations with the expected result of savings up to $23M and 37,000 hours through streamlined and improved services.
  • Continued to spread the adoption of lean through improvement projects, capacity-building initiatives, the development of lean management system tools, and the expansion of OPS training programs. Over 14,000 employees have been trained since 2019.

Cabinet Office Communications

  • Delivered multi-phase, complex communications and marketing deliverables while maintaining legislated delivery standards for communications priorities of which 96% were within the Ontario Public Service correspondence response standard. This presents a 13% increase from the year prior, which is in line with target compliance rates.
  • Coordinated and provided support for the development of integrated strategic plans and materials that were used to communicate government policies, programs, and initiatives.
  • Provided writing services, event support, and creative services for government announcements, and facilitated modern and coordinated government communications.
  • Improved the delivery of strategic advice by enhancing processes to anticipate issues and to support preventative issues management approaches.
  • Established centralized media monitoring agreements, which continue to reduce costs and gain efficiencies through centralized contract management.
  • Developed and maintained digital products, including websites and multi-platform marketing campaigns, to ensure that the government is informing and directly connected to the citizens it serves.
  • Oversaw, developed, and executed approximately $45M in best-in-class multi-channel and multi-lingual paid marketing strategies, which included creative and media and delivering on government and ministry priorities.
  • Leveraged new technologies to improve the return on investment for government marketing activities, increase enterprise capacity, and expand in-house capabilities.
  • Supported effective decision-making by transforming how data, research, and insights are collected, reported on, and shared with ministries.
  • Built a foundation of innovative approaches to assess, develop and support a strong and healthy workforce across the Ontario Public Service communications community.
  • Maintained a high level of compliance with Freedom of Information response standards by utilizing technology-driven solutions to streamline existing processes.

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 in key intergovernmental meetings in 2022–23 that included First Ministers’ Meetings, strategic engagements with U.S. state-level partners, and meetings with the Council of the Federation, the Steering Committee, Leaders of the National Indigenous Organizations, and Senior Officials.
  • 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 the February 2023 federal agreements for a new 10-year federal health funding deal ($17 billion in new funding over 10 years for Ontario).
  • Supported 17 ministers’ international missions.
  • Planned and executed the government’s state ceremonies, special events, and visits of foreign dignitaries, including delivery of the government’s Swearing-In Ceremony (June 24), Transition of the Crown (September 2022), Remembrance Day (November 11), and two State funerals of the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable David Onley and of the former Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion.
  • Maintained effective relationships with the consular corps, including supporting almost 200 international meetings and engagements annually.

Ministry of Red Tape Reduction

  • Delivered two regulatory modernization packages following collaborations across government, including hosting multi-corner meetings with participating ministries to ensure statutory obligations were addressed and an inclusion lens was applied as a whole.
  • Led the publication of the government’s annual Burden Reduction Report. It profiles notable burden reduction achievements for a 12-month period from June through May of the previous year.
  • Completed three Parliamentary Assistant-led roundtable discussions with stakeholders in the supply chain sector. Identified issues and opportunities that are being considered as part of future red tape reduction initiatives.
  • Launched roundtable consultations to reduce burdens on Ontario’s retail, supply-chain, agri-business and non-profit sectors and gather feedback and ideas that will enable impactful red tape reduction proposals.
  • Improved and re-launched the Red Tape Reduction Surveys. The surveys provide a direct channel for businesses and individuals to communicate to the government regarding issues that they are facing with red tape and regulatory requirements. The ministry also established the service standard to respond to submissions provided with an email address within 14 business days.
  • Developed and delivered a number of enterprise-wide training sessions on regulatory impact analysis. Trained the users on the Regulatory Cost Calculator tool.
  • Launched the ONReg platform to help ministries manage work relating to the regulatory impact analysis process and to support tracking and reporting progress on reducing red tape.
  • Re-developed the tracking system to track all red tape issues and opportunities provided by the public and stakeholders. To address the issues, the ministry engaged with specific areas to work towards potential short-term or longer-term solutions.
  • Since June 2018, over $576 million in annual savings have been realized by Ontario businesses due to reductions in regulatory compliance costs.

Digital Strategy Office

  • Initiated the development of the Ontario Public Service Framework, an all-of-government approach to make Ontario a leader in modern government service delivery through improved efficiency and modernization, integration of data and digital infrastructure, and enhanced user experience and interactions.

Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2022–23

Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2022–23
ItemAmount
($M)footnote 3
COVID‑19 approvals0.0
Other operating50.16
Capital0.0
Staff strengthfootnote 4
(as of March 31, 2023)
347