5. Strategic Direction and Implementation Plan

Strategic Direction

The Strategic Plan outlines the vision and strategic goals of the organization. The AGCO’s vision of being a world-class regulator that is innovative, proactive and socially responsible will be achieved through its three strategic goals – Modern Regulator, Service Excellence, and People First. Each strategic goal is associated with several key commitments, as outlined below.

Strategic Plan

Text version of the Strategic Plan

Major Initiatives Planned

There are a number of major initiatives that are underway or planned for the coming year and beyond.  These initiatives are outlined in the AGCO’s Corporate Plan and internal Divisional Plans and represent the AGCO’s support of government priorities and the agency’s commitment to undertake initiatives to achieve the goals set out in the AGCO Strategic Plan.  They are also closely connected to the external factors identified in the earlier environmental scan and risks section.

iGaming is a proposed new line of business for the AGCO. Pending the passage of recently introduced legislation, the AGCO would receive a mandate from the Government of Ontario to establish an online market for iGaming in Ontario that is both competitive and protects consumers. The AGCO will continue to act as the regulator for iGaming under this expanded, open-market regime, in addition to being granted the authority to conduct and manage the commercial aspects of iGaming. The new regime aims to attract grey market participants, allowing for enhanced player protection, responsible gambling requirements, controls to minimize unlawful activity and money laundering, and increased government revenues.

Liquor Modernization is an ongoing priority for the AGCO. In the 2019 Ontario Budget, the government reiterated its commitment to developing a plan and proposals to modernize the sale of beverage alcohol. The AGCO has worked closely with government on a number of initiatives to increase flexibility and reduce burden for stakeholders in the liquor industry, while continuing to ensure that alcohol is sold and served in a responsible manner.

In addition to the numerous initiatives that have been introduced since March 2020 to ease the burden on businesses and provide more options for consumers as a result of COVID-19, the AGCO has been working closely with government on the new liquor framework. This modernization initiative will set out a new legal and regulatory system for the sale, service and delivery of alcohol. Objectives for the new system include clarifying the respective roles of the AGCO and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, streamlining and simplifying the framework for licensees, and achieving flexibility and modernization through the Registrar’s Standards, particularly to allow room for future innovation.  The new Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 received Royal Assent in December 2019, and regulatory development is underway.

Back to Business Project is the AGCO’s coordinated plan and strategic approach to supporting our staff and regulated industries through the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through cross-functional platform teams, the project integrates and executes internal and external readiness plans related to re-opening / operating during the pandemic. The Back to Business Project is also informing strategies for shaping our Workforce of the Future by engaging staff in a dialogue about how the pandemic has changed the way we work.

Workforce of the Future Project will supplement our short-term pandemic response by strategically re-shaping our workforce and implementing the AGCO’s “next normal.” Building on our engagement with staff and guiding principles established under the Back to Business Project, our Workforce of the Future Project will focus on re-inventing where and how we work by exploring and implementing concepts such as, but not limited to, full-time remote-work, working from anywhere and creating more collaborative and creative spaces. Changes will be supported by the appropriate training, skills development, tools and technology to ensure staff can successfully adapt to our changing workplace.

Auditor General Report will focus on the development and implementation of an agency-wide action plan in response to recommendations outlined in the Auditor General of Ontario’s final report resulting from the Value for Money Audit conducted by the Auditor General throughout 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility is a strategy for the organization, as a result of an organization-wide assessment, that will address any gaps in the AGCO’s policies, processes, practices or behaviours. This strategy will outline actionable insights to achieve its three key goals. These include having a workforce reflective of Ontario’s demographic diversity; building an inclusive workplace culture free of discrimination and harassment; and delivering services in an accessible, culturally-aware, relevant and responsive way.

Implementation Plan

The AGCO’s corporate planning process aligns the agency’s major initiatives to the three strategic goals across all levels of the organization.  This approach ensures the work that is currently underway, as well as any future initiatives, will continue to align with the AGCO’s Strategic Plan.  This planning process tracks and reports on the progress of ongoing initiatives, while also informing the consideration of new initiatives.

The AGCO’s Corporate Plan captures major initiatives from across the organization, including key commitments and deliverables.  The status of Corporate Plan initiatives are updated and regularly reported to the AGCO Board of Directors.

Division-level planning has also been aligned to support the agency’s Strategic Plan through Divisional Plans.