Attorney General of Ontario

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Attorney General of Ontario
Coat of arms of Ontario (HM Government).svg
Coat of Arms the Government of Ontario
Yasir Naqvi

since June 13, 2016
Executive Council of Ontario
Style The Honourable
Term length Four years, two term limit
Inaugural holder William Henry Draper
Website Office of the Attorney General
The Ontario Attorney General's main office (McMurtry-Scott Building) in downtown Toronto

The Attorney General of Ontario, the chief legal adviser to the Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, is a senior member of the Executive Council of Ontario (or cabinet) and governs the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario - the department responsible for the oversight of the justice system within the province. The Attorney General is an elected Member of Provincial Parliament who is appointed on the Constitutional Advice of the Premier of Ontario and appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. The Ministry's goal is to provide a fair and accessible justice system which reflects the needs of the diverse communities it serves across government and the province. The Ministry represents the largest justice system in Canada and one of the largest in North America. It strives to manage the justice system in an equitable, affordable and accessible way throughout the province.

As of June 13, 2016, the Attorney General of Ontario is the Honourable Yasir Naqvi.


Attorneys General have the authority to represent the provincial government in court personally, but this task is almost always delegated to crown attorneys, or to Crown Counsel in civil cases. Ian Scott, who was a prominent courtroom lawyer prior to entering politics, chose to plead the crown's case in court for several cases related to constitutional law.

Most holders of the office were practicing lawyers or have legal training. Marion Boyd is the only AG who was not a lawyer.


The Ministry delivers and administers a wide range of justice services including:

  1. administering approximately 115 statutes;
  2. conducting criminal proceedings throughout Ontario;
  3. providing legal advice to, and conducting litigation on behalf of, all government ministries and many agencies, boards and tribunals;
  4. providing advice on, and drafting, all legislation and regulations; and
  5. coordinating and administering court services throughout Ontario.

The Ontario Crown Attorney's Office, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, the Children's Lawyer (formerly called the Official Guardian), and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) all fall within MAG's responsibilities. The Ministry also funds Legal Aid Ontario which is administered by an independent Board.

Following the 2013 release of Frank Iacobucci's report on the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Ontario justice system, a position of deputy attorney general with responsibility for Aboriginal issues was created.[1]

List of Attorneys-General[edit]

Attorneys-General of Upper Canada[edit]

Attorneys-General of the Province of Canada (Canada West)[edit]

In 1841 the AG replaced the role of AG of Upper Canada:

After 1867, the Attorney General was split into a federal and provincial counterparts:

Attorneys-General of Ontario[edit]

*As Premier

** Conant remained Attorney-General when he served as Premier of Ontario from October 21, 1942 until May 18, 1943, when he resigned from both positions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guttsman, Janet (June 1, 2015). "A new portfolio". Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 

External links[edit]