The Executive Council of Ontario (informally, and more commonly, the Cabinet of Ontario) plays an important role in the Government of Ontario, in accordance with the Westminster system.
A council of ministers of the Crown chaired by the Premier of Ontario, the Executive Council, almost always made up of members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, advises the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on how to exercise the executive functions of the Ontario Crown. The members of the council are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, on the advice of his or her Premier; though the Lieutenant Governor does not generally attend council meetings, directives issued by the viceroy on the advice of his or her ministers are said to be ordered by the Governor-in-Council. Ministers hold the honorific prefix "The Honourable" while members of the council.
The cabinet is thus similar in structure and role to the federal Queen's Privy Council for Canada, though smaller in size, and, whereas the federal cabinet is actually a committee of the Queen's Privy Council, the Executive Council of Ontario and Cabinet of Ontario are one and the same. Also unlike the Queen's Privy Council, members of the Ontario Executive Council are not appointed for life, and are not entitled to post nominal letters due to their position.
Most cabinet ministers are the head of a ministry, but this is not always the case. The Lieutenant Governor, advised by the Premier, determines which portfolios will be created. It is then up to the new minister to organize his or her department, and to present legislation for the new ministry if none exists.
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