Policy Development Process in Ontario
Policy Development Process in Ontario

Public policy experts are responsible for providing professional and reliable advice to the state on the development, implementation, and evaluation of public policies in the Ontario Public Service. In fulfilling this function, policy experts are involved in a wide range of operations that include the following; policy development, stakeholder engagement, and assessment of programs. This article discusses the Policy Development Process in Ontario, which is initiated by the following of Canada’s legislative process.

The policy making process in Canada involves all the three parts of Parliament: the House of Commons which is a group of the elected, lower Chamber, the Senate which includes the appointed, upper Chamber, and the Monarch (Head of State), the president who is represented by the Governor General in Canada. These three arms of the government follow types of agenda setting in public policy, work together to create new laws and policies in Canada.

Policy Development Process in Ontario Canada

Who makes policy in Canada? Parliament in Canada makes policies, this is Canada’s legislature, the federal institution of which policy making and power or responsibility to make laws is vested into them, duties of the legislature includes to raise taxes, and to authorize government spending on Policy development process Government of Canada.

1.Identify Problems and Set the Agenda

The first stage in policy development involves identifying problems and setting the agenda. To identify a problem, you need to look at what is happening and why it is a problem. For example, in the criminal justice system, this may be related to increased opioid use and overdose or violent crime among young people.

Once the problem is identified, serious debate about the policy plan can now ensue and as soon as a decision is made regarding what the policy should look like, it is then put on the agenda. This is obviously and undoubtedly the most politicized aspect of the process as many different stakeholders are involved. This stage includes identifying the legislature, regulator, judiciary, or other bodies in charge of policy formulation as well as adoption.


This is the stage where specific policy options within a government are narrowed down by eliminating those deemed as “non-executable” and different players seek to place their preferred solution higher than several other items.


Adoption is an essential aspect of the decision to select an alternative policy after the policy formulation process. In particular, the policy adoption process is influenced by two types of determining factors; internal and external, and these are usually referred to as policy diffusion.

4.Policy Implementation

By definition, policy implementation is a string of activities undertaken by the government and its partners in a bid to achieve the goals and objectives set out in the policy statement. Implementation of a policy is all about forging ahead, it is about spending the cash released for the undertaking. This also includes hiring new staff or additional policymakers however, it is also a stage where more often than not, policies stall as a result of not having funds to have them implemented.

5. Evaluation

The final stage of policy development is policy evaluation which essentially looks at the effectiveness of the policy. Policy evaluation has three different types: impact analysis, process analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. The impact, otherwise referred to as outcome, focuses more on the changes that occur as a result of the implementation of a policy.

Process evaluation examines the implementation of a policy or program and deals with determining the process of policy implementation. This is a comprehensive and descriptive report on policy implementation that includes program objectives, participants, level of training, and changes to the program that take place over time. Regrettably, process evaluation does not address the actual impact that policies have on a problem, however, it just looks at what was done about a particular problem or the person or people involved in the same. Although the aforementioned is a restriction, it is important to know the inner workings of a program or policy if you are going to reproduce it.

Cost-benefit evaluation is a method for examining the economic efficiency of a public policy by systematically projecting social costs and benefits. Stakeholders both inside and outside the government monitor the impact of the policy and determine whether or not the policy is achieving its intended objectives. This might lead to further public policy changes being made concerning the impact of the original policy.

The policy-making process is usually not linear but the five steps provide a framework for an in-depth understanding of governance design and assist policymakers in seeing the strengths and weaknesses of the system.