Section 5: Strategic Directions and Implementation Plan

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


Text version of strategic plan

Our Strategic GoalsModern RegulatorService ExcellencePeople First
Our Key Commitments
  • Serve the public interest through effective and innovative approaches to regulation in the alcohol, gaming, cannabis and horse racing sectors
  • Make evidence-based decisions to regulate in the public interest
  • Strengthen our organizational foundation to support the agency’s expanding priorities and business strategies
  • Continuously ensure a deep understanding of our stakeholders to anticipate and respond to their evolving needs
  • Provide a positive experience through the delivery of services that are clear, timely and that meet the expectations of those we serve
  • Champion an inclusive workplace by implementing recommendations from the AGCO’s DI&A strategy to further develop employee’s wellbeing and best serve the people of Ontario
  • Develop our talent to empower employees and nurture our internal talent succession pool

The AGCO Strategic Plan was refreshed in 2019 for a five-year period. Development will continue to establish a new plan anticipated to be in place in 2024. Once the plan is established, implementation activities will include aligning internal planning, monitoring, and reporting activities to support the strategic direction.  

Part of the AGCO’s annual planning cycle includes identifying its corporate priority initiatives. The AGCO’s Leadership Team undertakes an annual prioritization process to identify these initiatives, which considers alignment with its mandate, government priorities (including those identified in the Attorney General’s mandate letter) as well as resource capacity, among other strategic inputs.  

2024-25 Corporate Priorities

Based on the ongoing assessment of initiatives for 2024-25, the AGCO is anticipating a continuation of priorities initiatives from the previous year, which support ongoing modernization and burden reduction for the sectors it regulates while ensuring the continued protection of consumers.

Building on previous years’ work in response to the Auditor General’s 2020 Value-for-Money Report, the AGCO is undertaking a Financial Framework Review with the Ministry of Attorney General to respond to the government’s commitment to program sustainability. The Review aims to adjust the AGCO’s framework to make it more sustainable and consistent across the four sectors with the objective of moving it closer to achieving full cost recovery and self-sufficiency over the long term.

The Auditor General’s 2022 two-year follow up report on the 2020 Value-for-Money audit of the AGCO demonstrated the considerable progress it has made in implementing recommended actions, including in the areas of compliance and inspections activities, regulatory processes, and public transparency. As part of the follow-up process, the AGCO continues to provide status updates to the Auditor General on the ongoing work to implement remaining outstanding recommendations. The ongoing follow-up report from the Auditor General is expected to be released in December 2023. The AGCO will continue to implement the agency-wide action plan and provide updates for the remaining recommendations for the Auditor General’s follow-up in 2024.

Liquor Modernization remains a key priority. The AGCO is committed to collaborating with the government to identify opportunities for modernizing Ontario’s beverage alcohol retail marketplace and enhancing its operational capabilities, digital tools, and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness within the liquor regulatory framework. This involves exploring innovative approaches to regulating the liquor sector, all while maintaining a strong focus on social responsibility measures that protect the public interest.  

Supporting businesses through ongoing modernization and burden reduction initiatives will remain a focus, and the AGCO will continue to identify considerations for government of potential legislative opportunities across the various sectors that support these initiatives.  

The AGCO continues to support cannabis retailers by reducing red tape and regulatory burden while still ensuring the safe and legal sale of cannabis at authorized stores.  Through work with provincial partners, including the Ontario Cannabis Store and the Ontario Provincial Police, the AGCO is exploring opportunities to combat the illegal market and to keep youth and communities safe. The AGCO has been actively engaged in the federal review of the Cannabis Act, through a written submission and participation in roundtables with the Expert Panel.  

Through the Gaming Modernization initiative, the AGCO continues to explore and consult on potential policy and operational innovations. The possible areas of reform include registration and certification requirements for industry and updates to the casino compliance operating model. Gaming Modernization is also focused on other important streams of work including helping to tackle unregulated internet gaming market, enhancing its regulatory anti-money laundering oversight role, and facilitating the expansion of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation self-serve lottery terminals across the province.  ​

Implementation Plan

As part of the annual planning cycle the implementation of the corporate priorities includes a process to track and report on the progress of ongoing initiatives while also informing and assessing the consideration of new initiatives. The status of these priority initiatives is updated quarterly and regularly reported to the AGCO Board.