Below is a list of the premiers of the province of Ontario, Canada, since Confederation in 1867. Ontario uses a unicameral Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which the premier is the leader of the party that controls the most seats in the Legislative Assembly. The premier is Ontario's head of government. The premier picks a cabinet from the elected members to form the Executive Council of Ontario, and presides over that body.
Members are first elected to the legislature during general elections. General elections must be conducted every four years from the date of the last election. An election may also happen if the Governing party loses the confidence of the legislature, by the defeat of a supply bill or tabling of a confidence motion.
This article only covers the time since the Canadian Confederation was created in 1867. For the premiers of Canada West from 1840 to 1867, see List of joint premiers of the Province of Canada.
The 26th and current premier of Ontario is Doug Ford of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario since June 29, 2018.
|Term of office||Electoral mandates (Assembly)||Political party||Riding||Cabinet||Ref.|
|1|| John Sandfield Macdonald |
|Title created (caretaker government)||Liberal–Conservative||MLA for Cornwall|||
|Macdonald led a Coalition between the Liberal-Conservative Party and the Liberal Party; was also an MP in the House of Commons until 1872.|
|2|| Edward Blake |
|1871 election (2nd Leg.)||Liberal||MLA for Bruce South|||
|Resigned to lead the federal Liberal Party|
|3||Sir Oliver Mowat |
|Appointment (2nd Leg.)||Liberal||MLA for Oxford North|||
|Secured a large amount of power for the provinces through court battles with the federal government; introduced the secret ballot in elections and extended suffrage beyond property owners; created the municipal level of government; 1894 Ontario prohibition plebiscite|
|4|| Arthur Sturgis Hardy |
|Appointment (8th Leg.)||Liberal||MLA for Brant South|||
|5||Sir George William Ross |
|Appointment (9th Leg.)||Liberal||MLA for Middlesex West|||
|Expanded libraries, kindergarten, and university grants; 1902 Ontario prohibition referendum|
|6||Sir James Whitney |
| 1905 election (11th Leg.)||Conservative||MLA for Dundas|||
|Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario; Workmen's Compensation Act; temperance legislation; Regulation 17; Only Premier to die in office (1914).|
|7||Sir William Hearst |
|Appointment (14th Leg.)||Conservative||MLA for Sault Ste. Marie|||
|Ontario Temperance Act; expanded workers injury compensation; allowed woman suffrage; 1919 Ontario prohibition referendum|
|8|| Ernest Drury |
|1919 election (15th Leg.)||United Farmers||MLA for Halton|||
|Led a Coalition between the United Farmers party and the Labour MLAs; did not win a seat in the legislature until a 1920 by-election; created the first Department of Welfare; set a minimum wage for women; expanded Ontario Hydro; created the Province of Ontario Savings Office; began the first major reforestation program in North America; 1921 Ontario prohibition referendum|
|9|| Howard Ferguson |
| 1923 election (16th Leg.)|| Conservative |
|MLA for Grenville|||
|Relaxed Regulation 17; created the Liquor Control Board of Ontario; 1924 Ontario prohibition referendum|
|10|| George Stewart Henry |
|Appointment (18th Leg.)||Conservative||MLA for York East|||
|Expansion of highway system, including construction of the Queen Elizabeth Way|
|11|| Mitchell Hepburn |
| 1934 election (19th Leg.)|| Liberal |
|MLA for Elgin (MPP after 1938)|||
|Greatly cutting government spending; succession tax; compulsory milk pasteurization; relaxed temperance laws; made the Dionne Quintuplets wards of the state; unsuccessfully tried to break the first United Auto Workers strike against GM; conflict with PM Mackenzie King over conduct of WWII and conscription.|
|12|| Gordon Daniel Conant |
|Appointment (20th Leg.)||Liberal||MPP for Ontario|||
|"Appointed" premier by Liberal leader Mitchell Hepburn but forced to call and contest leadership convention due to caucus revolt, which he lost to Nixon.|
|13|| Harry Nixon |
|Appointment (20th Leg.)|| Liberal |
|MPP for Brant|||
|14|| George A. Drew |
| 1943 election (21st Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for High Park||^α |
|Began a 42-year Conservative dynasty; Drew Regulation; LeBel Royal Commission; joined Ontario to North American power grid, increased provincial share of Education spending; opened immigration offices in UK and arranged for cheap charter flights to bring 20,000 British immigrants to Ontario.|
|15|| Thomas Laird Kennedy |
|Appointment (23rd Leg.)||Progressive Conservative||MPP for Peel|||
|Interim premier between resignation of Drew and leadership convention to choose his successor.|
|16|| Leslie Frost |
|Appointment (23rd Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Victoria|||
|400-series highways; Provincial Sales Tax; public hospital insurance which would become OHIP; Expansion of universities; Fair Employment Practices Act and Fair Accommodation Practices Act and Ontario Human Rights Commission created; Voting rights for First Nations; Creation of Metropolitan Toronto and Toronto's first subway.|
|17|| John Robarts |
|Appointment (26th Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for London North|||
|Ontario Human Rights Code; 1967 "Confederation of Tomorrow" conference; Ontario Housing Corporation created; French education in Ontario schools; Creation of Ontario Health Insurance Plan; Creation of community college system; Creation of TVOntario; Creation of GO Transit.|
|18|| Bill Davis |
|Appointment (28th Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Peel North |
MPP for Brampton
|Spadina Expressway; rejected (1971) then later partly extended (1984); full funding to Ontario's Catholic high schools; expansion of health care and education; extension of Ontario Human Rights Code provisions; expansion of French-language services ; new regional governments; Rent controls; social housing expansion; Played a key role in patriation of the Canadian Constitution.|
|19|| Frank Miller |
|Appointment (32nd Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Muskoka|||
|Lost a motion of no confidence immediately after the election and resigned power to the opposition party.|
|20|| David Peterson |
|Appointment (33rd Leg.)|| Liberal |
|MPP for London Centre|||
|Had the second-most seats in the 33rd assembly, but formed an accord with the New Democratic Party that would let the Liberal Party take power without forming an official coalition. Banned extra-billing by doctors and ended health insurance premiums. Reforms to rent laws, labour negotiation laws, pensions, environment; implemented extension of Catholic school funding to grade 13 announced by previous government; supported the Meech Lake Accord; Introduced no-fault auto insurance; Patti Starr scandal|
|21|| Bob Rae |
|1990 election (35th Leg.)|| New Democratic |
|MPP for York South||Rae cabinet|||
|Social Contract and clash with unions; Rae days; Pay equity; Affirmative action; Strengthening of rent control; anti-scab legislation; Reserve status for North Ontario Aboriginals; Moratorium on new nuclear plants; Attempted to maintain ban on Sunday shopping before allowing it; Introduction of casinos; Attempted to bring in extension of spousal benefits for same-sex partners.|
|22|| Mike Harris |
| 1995 election (36th Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Nipissing|||
|Common Sense Revolution; 30% tax cut; 21% cut to social assistance rates; attempted to introduce Workfare; cancelled urban infrastructure projects including Eglinton subway; cut government spending; downloading of Ontario Housing to municipalities; provincial funding for municipal transit reduced; Telehealth Ontario created; division of Ontario Hydro; municipal amalgamations, including Amalgamation of Toronto; Elimination of OAC year (Grade 13) and re-introduction of standardized testing; privatization of Highway 407; Ipperwash Crisis; teacher strikes; $1B cut from Education; Walkerton Tragedy; Ontario's Drive Clean; hospital closures and health restructuring.|
|23|| Ernie Eves |
|Appointment (37th Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey|||
|Kimberly Rogers and welfare reform; Possible sale of Hydro One and problem with hydro costs due to hot summers and 2003 North America blackout.|
|24|| Dalton McGuinty |
| 2003 election (38th Leg.)|| Liberal |
|MPP for Ottawa South||  |
|Green Energy and Economy Act; Auto insurance reforms; Cancelled tax cuts; Increase in health spending and Health Premium tax; Transfer of gas tax to municipalities; Breed-specific legislation aka ban on/government-sanctioned euthanization of 'pit bulls' and dogs considered to resemble 'pit bulls'; Established the Greenbelt; Renegotiation of federal equalization; Expansion of Ontario's Drive Clean; full-day kindergarten; MoveOntario; eHealth Ontario scandal; Harmonized Sales Tax; Ontario power plant scandal. Decreased drinking while driving limit to 0.05 from 0.08. On October 15, 2012, unexpected announcement of resignation and prorogation of legislature.|
|25|| Kathleen Wynne |
|Appointment (40th Leg.)|| Liberal |
|MPP for Don Valley West||   |
|First female Premier of Ontario, first openly gay premier in Canada; Ontario-Québec Relations (500 megawatts (MW) of peak electricity sharing); Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act; The Great Lakes Protection Act; $30-billion investment into transportation across the province; privatization of Hydro One; allowed beer and wine to be sold in certain grocery stores; updated sex education in public schools; raised the minimum wage in Ontario to $14; created the OHIP+ program to provide prescription drugs free for youth under 25; conflicted with the Auditor General and Financial Accountability Office over budgeting. On June 7, 2018, led party to worst defeat of a governing party in Ontario history.|
|26|| Doug Ford |
|incumbent|| 2018 election (42nd Leg.)|| Progressive Conservative |
|MPP for Etobicoke North||Ford cabinet|| |
|Cancelled the provincial cap and trade system. Cut Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 wards. Buck a Beer.  Reduced the small business tax rate by 8.7%. Scrapped the 2015 sex-ed curriculum in favour of the 1998–2014 curriculum. Introduced free dental care for low-income seniors. Oversaw Ontario's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancelled passenger vehicle license plate renewal fees. Raised the provincial minimum wage to $15 per hour.|
For more lists of this type, see Lists of incumbents.
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