April 4, 2013

Regional Accessibility Forums 2013: Engaging Effectively with your Community 

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) in partnership with the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) is hosting six (6) Regional Accessibility Forums this spring.

Regional Accessibility Forums 2013:  Engaging Effectively with your Community 

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) in partnership with the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) is hosting six (6) Regional Accessibility Forums this spring. 

These forums will bring together members of municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees (AAC) and will provide a great opportunity to network with colleagues from other municipalities and to learn new ways of working together towards making Ontario accessible. The Forums will also be of interest to municipal staff who work with and support AACs, and community organizations that provide services to or support people with disabilities.

Click here for further details.

 Ontarians invited to participate in Pre-budget Conversation 

The provincial government is inviting Ontarians to provide input on developing its 2013 budget. Opening the conversation to include digital media options, the government is seeking innovative ideas to address its key priority of eliminating the deficit by 2017-2018. 

For more information visit the 2013 Budget Talks website

Members will also find OMSSA’s pre-budget submission here.

 Private Members Bill on Inclusionary Zoning Bill Reintroduced 

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has reintroduced her bill on inclusionary zoning. Bill 37, the Planning Amendment Act, seeks to amend section 34 of the Planning Act and to allow municipalities to pass zoning by-laws that require a certain percentage of units in new housing developments with 20 or more units to be affordable to low and moderate income households. The definition of affordable is taken from section 3 of the Provincial Policy Statement.

The  bill also proposes to amend section 51 of the Planning Act to allow the as a condition of approval of a plan of subdivision, a requirement that a specified percentage of housing units in new housing developments in the subdivision containing 20 or more housing units must be affordable to low and moderate income households.

The bill passed first reading on March 26, 2013.

 Public Health Renewal: The Next Step 

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has released its comprehensive strategic plan for the public health sector: Make No Little Plans

Headed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, the plan outlines the sector's strategic goals and collective areas of focus for the next three to five years. The plan calls for strong partnerships and acknowledges that good health is also determined by social and environmental factors beyond medical care, such as income, education, clean air and water. It outlines how public health, at the provincial and local levels, will co-operate on delivering on these shared goals and calls for public health to partner with other health and non-health sectors to address complex public health challenges.

 Living with Slower Economic Growth 

As the government puts the last touches on another budget, it faces a landscape of sluggish economic growth for the visible future.  In his paper, Unlock the Labour Market to Restore Growth, Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at TD Bank Group, examines what happens when a society accustomed to decades of growth finds itself facing the prospect of learning to live without it.

 Study Suggests Parents Spend More Learning Time with Young Daughters than Sons  

A study by two Canadian Economics Professors,  Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries, suggests Canadian parents spend more time reading, telling stories, singing songs, drawing, and teaching new words and letters to their pre-kindergarten-age daughters than their sons. The study indicates that this difference in parental time investment could be part of the reason for boys lagging behind girls in kindergarten-level reading and math and beyond.  Further comment on the study can be found in this article in today’s Toronto Star.

 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare  

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network has created a website with clips from the first week of testimony at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations child welfare where opening statements were taken.  This is a resource for everyone who wants to follow this precedent setting case for First Nations children and families.

 Niagara Region Wins Urban Leadership Award 

Seven individuals and groups have been chosen as the winners of this year's Urban Leadership Awards program for making Canada's cities healthier, safer, and more dynamic places to live and work.  The awards ceremony to honour this year's exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 17th from 11:30 am-2:30-pm at the Westin Ottawa hotel where the following 2013 Urban Leadership Awards will be presented: 

City Soul

Jane's Walk:  For initiating volunteer-led walks that help people understand and learn about their neighborhoods, and that foster urban literacy and civic engagement


City Champion

Brian F.C. Smith: for transforming a neighbourhood centre into one of Toronto's leading social services organization that has come up with innovative models to solve complex urban issues 

John Tory: for building greater regional cooperation to improve the economic development and efficiency of city regions, notably through the creation of the CivicAction Alliance


Global City and Innovation

HIGHRISE: produced by the National Film Board of Canada, the project used the documentary process to drive social change, bringing community collaboration to bear on a global challenge


Prosperity and Renewal

Niagara Prosperity Initiative: for creating an extensive initiative and investing long-term into programs to decrease poverty in the region that focus on inclusion



Jacob Zorzella: for being a role model in his community through his leadership roles, while pursuing an elite athletic career


Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award

William (Bill) Teron: for his influential career in public policy and passionate advocacy for quality design and commitment to development in the Ottawa area

 Housing Services Corporation is moving! 

As of April 2 2013, HSC and subsidiaries will be at a new location. Phone and fax numbers will remain the same and appear below for reference:



SoHo Insurance

SHSC Financial (SHSCFI)

30 Duncan Street, Suite 500
Toronto, M5V 2C3

P: 416.594.9325
TF: 1.866.268.4451
F: 416.594.9422

30 Duncan Street, Suite 501
Toronto, M5V 2C3

P: 416.360.0761
TF: 1.866.440.2492
F: 416.3603711

30 Duncan Street, Suite 606
Toronto, M5V 2C3

T: 416.594.9325
TF: 1.866.268.4451
F: 416.594.9422

 Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities! 

Results Based Performance Measurements

April 25 - 26, 2013 in Barrie

May 8 – 9, 2013 in London

Click here to Register

This two day workshop will provide strategies and tips to apply performance measurement processes to human services. Understand the need for measuring performance; learn how to set performance indicators, how to engage stakeholders in the process, and how to use performance measurement in decision-making.

Additional information 

Changes to the Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act:  What it means for your community partners


April 16, 2013 (10am – 12pm)

Click here to Register 

The Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA), which will replace the Ontario Corporations Act (OCA) this year, will provide a a new legal framework to address the needs of today's not-for-profit corporations in Ontario. It will simplify some business practices and create greater accountability in other areas to allow for more effective governance of not-for-profit organizations.  

If you work with community organizations that provide day care centres, employment counseling services, shelters, or non-profit housing, you should attend this webinar to understand the Act so you can provide your partners the guidance they need to comply. Consider bringing your community partners with you so they can hear the information directly.

Additional information 

Narrative Interventions Workshop

May 8 – 9, 2013 in Toronto

Click here to Register 

The Narrative Interventions approach provides strategies for better engaging people and assisting them in problem-solving. It uses an informed, question-centred strategy that deconstructs meaning and works to re-author a positive, results-focused narrative, building on individual strengths and assets. 

This two-day workshop will provide workshop participants with an understanding of Narrative Interventions and strategies and tips for applying them in working with clients, tenants/residents, families, colleagues and communities.

Additional information