October 10, 2013

Those of you who joined us at our 2013 Learning Symposium in Ottawa will no doubt remember the impressive performance by Ottawa’s 2013 Youth Poetry SLAM Team, which was one of the highlights of our opening plenary.

October 10, 2013

Dear OMSSA delegates and friends,

Those of you who joined us at our 2013 Learning Symposium in Ottawa will no doubt remember the impressive performance by Ottawa’s 2013 Youth Poetry SLAM Team, which was one of the highlights of our opening plenary.

These young, talented artists put on an incredible show, sharing their spoken word pieces on issues both close to their hearts and important to hear as local human service system managers and providers. We’ve since posted the video on our website, so please watch it again, or catch it for the first time if you missed it. And if you like it, don’t forget to share via your favourite social media site.

I am also happy to share that we will be launching a new format for our E.D Letter next week. The updated E.D. Letter will feature the same news, updates and resources that you look for each week, in a more rich and engaging format that is easier to scan and navigate for you - our readers.

Migrating to a new format means that we might not make it through your spam filter the first week – so please keep a look out, check your junk folder, and mark us as a ‘safe sender’ so you can continue to receive the E.D Letter straight to your inbox each week. 

Thank you, and my best to you, Kira


New Municipal Infrastructure Fund for Ontario

Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced that the Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund is now accepting applications. The 100 million dollar funding program is aimed at addressing critical infrastructure needs for communities, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects. Municipalities with 100,000 or fewer residents; 25 per cent or greater rural residents; or located in Northern Ontario are eligible to apply.

Readers may be interested in an Association of Municipalities of Ontario communication on the topic. 

New Mental Health Help Line for University and College Students

Ontario has launched a new mental health help line for college and university students as part of its Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

Students with concerns about student life, health or mental well-being can now call Good2Talk, a province-wide service that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is a free, confidential and anonymous service that offers professional counselling, mental health information and connections to local resources.


Report: Who Is Working For Minimum Wage in Ontario?

A new report has been released by Sheila Block of the Wellesley Institute which explores the question “Who Is Working For Minimum Wage In Ontario?”

Findings show that the share of Ontarians working for minimum wage has more than doubled from 4.3 per cent to 9 per cent since 2003, and that minimum wage work is not distributed equally: women, racialized workers and recent immigrants are more likely to be working for minimum wage.

New Website on Finding Quality Childcare

Parents looking for child care that meets the needs of their families can now visit a new website, developed by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Through the site, parents can find out about child care options in each province and territory, how to recognize quality and why it’s important, and how they can improve their chances of accessing high quality child care.

Too Far from Perfect: a father-daughter conversation about public education

Ontario Early Learning Advisor and education professor Charles Pascal, and his daughter, Tai Notar, have co-written a new book, Too Far from Perfect: a father-daughter conversation about public education. Through a dialogue between the father-daughter pair, the book chronicles the reflections of a Toronto high school student and describes what has made the big difference to her learning and the educational aspirations of her peers.

The book was profiled recently in an article by the Toronto Star.


Join Us for an Early Learning & Child Care Capacity Building Project Webinar

OMSSA will be hosting a webinar to update members on the tools developed through the OMSSA-Ministry of Education (EDU) Early Learning and Childcare Resource Centre. The Resource Centre provides support for CMSMs and DSSABs around the implementation of Ontario's new child care funding formula and framework.

Join us to hear remarks from EDU and have OMSSA lead you through the tools we have developed to date, including one option for the General Operating Grant.

The webinar will be offered at the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, October 29, 2013 – 2:30pm -4:30pm


  • Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Please RSVP and register by emailing mshepherd@omssa.com indicating which date you will be attending.  Further details will be made available upon receipt of your RSVP.

OMSSA’s 2013 Human Services Integration Policy Conference

Join us December 3-4 for the 2013 Policy Conference:  Municipal Human Service System Management: 15 Years after Local Services Realignment.

Did you know Ontario is one of the only jurisdictions in North America where municipal governments are responsible for the planning, funding, delivery and management of human and health services? This two day conference examines Ontario’s unique social policy landscape beginning with Local Services Realignment in the 1990s to the landmark Provincial Municipal Fiscal Services Delivery Review and the present day social policy transformation. Delegates will gain an insider’s view into the history of the complex dynamics of the provincial-municipal relationship and what we need to think about for the future role CMSMs and DSSABs have in serving Ontario’s communities.

Local, national and international speakers will engage delegates in provocative discussions on emerging issues and the role of local government.

  • Learn how municipalities in Germany have merged services to sustain rural communities and economies.
  • Think about what a centralized benefits system might look like and what it means for income supports in Ontario.
  • Consider new ways to engage local employers to support people with disabilities in getting and keeping jobs.
  • What does the Integrated Social Assistance Management Framework really mean and how will it affect the work you do?
  • Understand new ways to tell the story on why the work you do matters.
  • In an age of no new government funding what opportunities are available to develop affordable housing?
  • New funding model, new considerations for child care in your communities.
  • And much more.

This year’s policy conference is intended to get us thinking about tomorrow today and the emerging service system management role of CMSMs and DSSABs.

Registration will open later in October. Registration fees are available here and to book your accommodations at the group rate of $182/night (until November 4) at the conference hotel, Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, click here.

Click here to view highlights and videos from the 2012 Policy Conference:  Human Services Integration in Practice: Realizing the Vision.

Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities

Leading and Managing Projects

October 15 – 16, 2013 in Toronto

Click here to Register

Leading and managing projects is both a technical and a people management task. This workshop gives you the tools and techniques to accomplish the technical aspects of project management as well as the softer skills of managing teams – skills that are needed for successful project completion.  This workshop will be useful for anyone who needs the tools to manage single or multiple projects.

Additional Information


Better Beginnings, Better Futures

October 18, 2013 – In Ottawa

Click here to Register

Started in 1991 in 3 pilot communities by the Government of Ontario, the Better Beginnings, Better Futures (BBBF) project is an innovative, community-based project designed to support the development of young children and their families living in disadvantaged communities. It is a flexible, ecological model that addresses the needs of children in low-income communities beginning from JK to Grade 2 through family, school, and community programs. It is not a “one size fits all”, top-down package, but rather a collection of strategies that can be shaped by communities to address their unique needs.

Additional Information


ERO Core Training

November 6 - 8, 2013 in Toronto

Click here to Register

The eligibility review process is a series of detailed steps and procedures that must be followed in order to assess and investigate Ontario Works eligibility and referrals. This 3-day workshop will provide you with guides and tips to conducting an investigation, reviewing the differences between civil, provincial offences and criminal prosecutions, the use of discretion when deciding upon the pursuit of a judicial outcome and many other facets of the ERO world. This is your opportunity to work with the Ontario Works legislation, applying it to case studies in preparation for carrying out an investigation from the initial receipt of the tip/information to the final outcome.

Additional Information


Webinar:  Time Management Strategies

November 13, 2013 10:00am – 11:30am

Click here to Register

Attend this webinar to gain the essential tips and strategies you need to manage your time more effectively. This webinar will help you to recognize your time style, identify time wasters, construct a healthy, prioritized “To Do” list and generate more time through delegation.

Additional Information


Interested in the topics, but unable to attend the session?

Consider bringing any of these topics or other OMSSA workshops in-house in 2013. Contact Christie Abramovic, Senior Coordinator of Education, at cabramovic@omssa.com to make custom arrangements for bringing any OMSSA workshop to your staff and community.