Government of Ontario

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Government of Ontario | Province of Ontario:


onThe Government of Ontario | Gouvernement de l’Ontario is the provincial government of the province of Ontario and its powers and structure are set out in the Constitution Act, 1867.


The province of Ontario is governed by a unicameral legislature, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which operates in the Westminster system of government.


The political party that wins the largest number of seats in the legislature normally forms the government, and the party’s leader becomes premier of the province, for example the head of government.


In modern Canadian use the term “government” refers broadly to the cabinet formally the Executive Council of Ontario, selected from members the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and to the non-political civil service staff within each provincial department or agency.


The head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, is represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, who is appointed by the Governor General of Canada on advice of the Prime Minister. The Lieutenant Governor has the official responsibility of ensuring that Ontarians always has a duly constituted government.


The civil service that manages and delivers government policies, programs, and services is called the Ontario Public Service.



Government of Ontario contact information as follows:



  • Toll free: 1 844 286-8404,

For deaf or hard-of-hearing (TDD/TTY):

  • Toll free: 1 844 403-5904



Website: Government of Ontario |

Website supplementary:  Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and Service Ontario





Government of Ontario Ministries | departments and agencies: List


external-linkThe followings are external links:


  • Advanced Education and Skills Development: Works to build an excellent higher education and training system that gives people a high-quality education and a solid foundation of relevant skills and training.
  • Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: Supports Ontario’s agri-food sector, enforces and improves food safety and strengthens Ontario’s rural communities.
  • Attorney General: Ensures a fair, effective and accessible justice system for all Ontarians.
  • Children and Youth Services: Works to give children the best start in life, prepare youth to become productive adults and make it easier for families to get key services at all stages of a child’s development.
  • Citizenship and Immigration: Works with various partners to help individuals and diverse communities flourish and fully participate in Ontario life.
  • Community and Social Services: Promotes resilient and inclusive communities by helping people achieve their potential, build independence and improve their quality of life.
  • Community Safety and Correctional Services: Works to ensure that Ontario’s communities are supported and protected by law enforcement and public safety systems that are safe, secure, effective, efficient and accountable.
  • Economic Development and Growth: Helps to grow a strong, innovative economy that provides jobs and prosperity for all Ontarians.
  • Education: Works to make Ontario’s publicly funded education and child care systems the world’s best, where all children and students have the opportunity to achieve success.
  • Energy: Promotes the development of a safe, reliable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy supply.
  • Environment and Climate Change: Works to protect, restore and enhance the environment to ensure public health and environmental quality.
  • Finance: Creates an environment that helps foster a dynamic, innovative and growing economy, and manages the fiscal, financial and related regulatory affairs of the province.
  • Francophone Affairs: Ensures that Francophones can fully contribute to social, economic and political life in Ontario, including accessing services in French.
  • Government and Consumer ServicesDelivers efficient, high-quality services to the people and Government of Ontario.
  • Health and Long-Term Care: Administers the health care system, regulates hospitals and nursing homes, operates psychiatric hospitals and medical labs, coordinates emergency services and provides health services to people.
  • Housing: Works to build more affordable and social housing, leads actions to end homelessness in Ontario and supports the full range of housing needs for people across the province.
  • Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Strengthens relationships, improves social conditions and builds economic opportunity for Indigenous communities across Ontario.
  • Infrastructure: Guides Ontario’s historic infrastructure plan and leads projects that strengthen our communities and economy, such as hospitals, schools, transit systems, roads and bridges.
  • Intergovernmental Affairs: Advances Ontario’s intergovernmental and international priorities through cross-government collaboration, strategic partnerships and trade missions.
  • International Trade: Promotes new economic, business and cultural partnerships across Canada and around the world, and strengthens Ontario’s growth and competitiveness through trade policy.
  • Labour: Advances safe, fair and harmonious workplace practices that are essential to the social and economic well-being of the people of Ontario.
  • Municipal Affairs: Builds safe and strong urban and rural communities with dynamic local economies, abundant greenspace and a quality of life that is second to none.
  • Natural Resources and Forestry: Oversees the province’s natural resources and works to safeguard Ontario’s provincial parks, forests, fisheries, wildlife, mineral aggregates, Crown lands and waters.
  • Northern Development and Mines: Promotes northern economic and community development, oversees Ontario mineral sector and helps to deliver programs and services for Northerners.
  • Research, Innovation and Science: Supports world-class research, commercialization and innovation taking place across Ontario through a range of programs and services.
  • Seniors’ Secretariat: Helps to improve the quality of life of Ontario seniors and supports public education efforts for and about older Ontarians.
  • Tourism, Culture and Sport: Works to deliver top tourism and recreation experiences to Ontarians and visitors, and promotes the province’s tourism sector to drive economic growth.
  • Transportation: Oversees a world-class provincial transit and transportation system that moves people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life.
  • Treasury Board Secretariat: Focuses on strengthening the openness, transparency, and accountability of government and works to get the best possible value for money, and improve the services that the people of Ontario rely on.
  • Women’s Directorate: Partners with various organizations to take action on issues of concern to women.







Learn more about Government/Province of Ontario:


Organization: Government of Ontario:

Ontario is divided into 107 constituencies–groups of voters in specific areas of the province and to increase to 122 by 2018 due to population growoth. During a provincial election, the candidate in each constituency who wins the highest number of votes becomes the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for that constituency. The leader of the political party with the most winning candidates becomes the Premier of Ontario. The premier and ministers form the government.


Laws are introduced as bills and debated by MLAs before being put to a vote. If the Assembly passes a bill, it goes to the Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent, at which point it becomes law.


The Speech from the Throne opens each new session of the Legislature and outlines the broad goals and direction for government.


Key positions:


The Lieutenant Governor:

The Lieutenant Governor is the Queen’s representative in Ontario. Constitutional duties of the Lieutenant Governor include ensuring the province always has a Premier so that there’s continuity in governance, opening and closing each Legislature Session, and granting Royal Assent to measures and Bills passed by the Assembly to give them the force of law.

The functions of the Sovereign, Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, and known in Ontario as the Queen in Right of Ontario, are exercised by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the Governor General of Canada on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada, in consultation with the Premier of Ontario.

The Legislature:

The Legislature is the provincial equivalent of Canada’s Parliament. Ontario’s Legislature is made up of the Lieutenant Governor and a single body of elected representatives called the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Premier and Cabinet, like their federal counterparts, belong to the political party with the most elected members in the Assembly.

By law, a provincial general election must be held every 5 years, but may be held sooner. In a general election, Ontarians from across the province vote on who they want to represent them in the Legislative Assembly.

Sometimes a seat in the Legislative Assembly is vacated before the next provincial election. When this happens, a by-election is called. A by-election is an election held in one constituency only. The winner of the by-election becomes the new MLA for that constituency until the next general election.


The Premier:

The Premier is the head of the Government of Ontario. The leader of the political party with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly becomes the Premier. While the Premier doesn’t need to be an MLA to lead the province, they do need to be an MLA to sit in the Legislature and participate in debate. As head of Executive Council, the Premier chooses cabinet ministers from among elected members of the governing party.


Executive Council Office:

The Executive Council Office provides support to the Premier and the members of Executive Council. It ensures effective strategic planning and coordinated policy development across government, and engagement of Ontarians.


The Cabinet:

The Cabinet is the framework in which members of Executive Council put government policies into practice. Cabinet ministers are MLAs in charge of specific government ministries. Beyond approving Orders in Council, Cabinet ratifies policy matters and is the final authority on issues related to the day-to-day operation of government. The Premier chairs Cabinet.


The Speaker:

The Speaker directs debates and proceedings in the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker is an elected MLA. At the beginning of the first Legislative session after an election, all MLAs vote for the Speaker by secret ballot.


The Opposition:

The Opposition is made up of MLAs who aren’t part of the governing party. The role of the Opposition is to critique government activity, propose improvements to legislation, and present itself to the public as an alternative to the party in office.


Members of the Legislative Assembly:

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected by Ontarians to make the laws we live by in this province. Each MLA represents a constituency. MLAs selected by the Premier to represent ministries are referred to as cabinet ministers. Those who aren’t in Cabinet are referred to as private members, or caucus members of their particular political party.



27 Ministries currently make up the Ontario government. These departments deliver the programs and services mandated by Ontario’s laws. Each ministry is headed by a deputy minister, a member of the Ontario public service who in turn reports to a minister, an elected official and member of Cabinet.


Public agencies:

Public agencies are boards, commissions, tribunals or other organizations established by government, but not part of a government department. They work alongside ministries to deliver programs and services. Ontario’s Agency Governance Secretariat helps ensure Ontario government agencies are well governed.


Government committees:

Government committees review policy decisions, long-range strategic priorities, legislation and regulations. These committees include: Treasury Board, Economic Policy Committee, Legislative Review Committee, and Social Policy Committee.


Public service:

Ontario’s public service is made up of about 60,000+  government employees throughout the province. Each works for one of 27 ministries, or a public agency. They perform the legal, policy, administrative and practical duties needed to deliver programs and services to Ontarians.





For additional and most recent information, please visit the government of Ontario website.