January 11, 2013

Welcome everyone to the first edition of OMSSA’s E.D. Letter for 2013. It is my pleasure to wish all OMSSA members and friends a happy new year.

News from Queen’s Park and Ontario

Most of you will already know that in late December the Province announced new one-time funding of $42 Million to address the transition from the old Community Start Up Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI). Readers can link to the details through the item below.

 January 11, 2013

Welcome everyone to the first edition of OMSSA’s E.D. Letter for 2013. It is my pleasure to wish all OMSSA members and friends a happy new year.

News from Queen’s Park and Ontario

Most of you will already know that in late December the Province announced new one-time funding of $42 Million to address the transition from the old Community Start Up Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI). Readers can link to the details through the item below.

OMSSA members will be pleased to know that OMSSA’s work in consistently raising the difficulties of the decision to suddenly cancel the CSUMB, and to eliminate over half of the funding that used to support it, was acknowledged by Ministry spokespeople shortly before the announcement. With the analysis and information on impacts painstakingly documented by OMSSA members throughout this time, we made the case through all our post-Ontario budget work, our submission and presentation to the Committee reviewing revisions to the budget, and our discussions throughout the CSARO process and the development of the CHPI. The other key part of our message was that to best serve Ontarians and to best leverage the strengths of CMSMs and DSSABs, human services policy and funding need to support a systems approach and integration. OMSSA will continue to promote this essential message into 2013 of course, working with and for members as we go.

I am also pleased to be able to draw your attention to the videos now on our website from our very successful Human Services Integration policy conference in November 2012. Click here to see again, or for the first time, the inspiring key note speakers!

Again, my best to you for a good 2013, Kira

$42 million one-time funding announced to support the transition to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative

On December 27, 2012, the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) announced a one-time injection of $42 million to help support municipalities transitioning to the new consolidated Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI).


Allocations with be directed to municipal service managers and be based on each municipality’s change in total funding for housing and homelessness supports in 2013-2014. Municipalities that will see a funding increase in 2013-2014 will not be eligible to receive the one-time grant funding. As the money is intended to complement CHPI allocation funding the use of the funds will be determined by the discretion of the municipal service manager to address local priorities.

Throughout 2013, OMSSA will continue to gather information regarding this one-time funding and the impact that it has CMSMs, DSSABs and municipalities.

The full media release by MCSS is available here.

Living Longer, Living Well

Report to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Minister Responsible for Seniors

On Tuesday this week, the Government of Ontario received a report from Dr. Samir Sinha, on how to help seniors stay healthy and live at home longer. In spring 2012, Dr. Sinha was asked to lead the development and implementation of the Seniors Care Strategy, starting with broad consultation in the health care sector and the development of the report, released this week. The report offers the government a series of recommendations to help improve the quality of life and care for Ontario seniors. The government has committed to implementing some of the recommendations in its seniors strategy in the coming months, including recommendations to:

 Match every older Ontarian who wants one with a primary care provider through Health Links and new physician incentives to care for high-needs patients.

 Improving access to home care by expanding personal support worker services through community support agencies for low-needs patients.

The full report is available here.

Government to move forward with two recommendations from the Jobs and Prosperity Council report

The Government of Ontario announced on Thursday that it will be implementing key recommendations from the Jobs and Prosperity Council. Two key recommendations that will move forward include introducing new Global Exporter Forums, and piloting a Commercialization and Innovation Voucher that will provide eligible small and medium-sized enterprises with resources to work with research institutions to address challenges and improve their productivity, performance and competitiveness. The full media release on the recommendations moving forward is available here.

Last spring, the Premier announced the creation of the Jobs and Prosperity Council, chaired by Gordon Nixon, President and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, and Kevin Lynch, Vice President of BMO Financial Group. The group’s mandate was to, "provide government with advice on what actions are needed for Ontario to seize new opportunities and capitalize on existing strengths in a time of increased global competition and rapid growth in developing countries."

The final report from the council was released in late December. Entitled

Advantage Ontario, the report is available here.


News from Ottawa and across Canada

Resource Corner

Links to current research and other resources to support OMSSA members

Commentary has also appeared recently in media and is available here.

Murray resigns Liberal leadership candidacy to support Kathleen Wynne

Glen Murray announced on Thursday that he has resigned his candidacy for the Liberal leadership and will be putting his support behind Kathleen Wynne.

A full news article on Murray’s rationale is available here.

In addition to Murray’s support, former cabinet minister, John Wilkinson was also announced as co-chair of Wynne’s campaign. Wilkinson was defeated by a narrow margin in the last election in the riding of Perth-Wellington. The support is seen as significant as he is one of the more prominent rural Liberals in the party. With all candidates but Sandra Pupatello coming from ridings in the GTA, rural and northern support and appealing to voters outside the GTA is perceived as a significant issue for the candidates.

Delegates will be chosen from ridings across the province this weekend in preparation for the leadership convention scheduled for the end of the month.

Federal budget consultations and input process

The Ministry of Finance has launched a series of round table discussions across Canada for the 2013 budget process. The Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty held pre-budget consultations in Burlington on December 19


2012. The parliamentary secretary was in Montreal on Wednesday holding pre-budget consultations.

While it appears that consultations are happening, and a press release is available, a schedule of events does not appear on the ministry website. An email forum is available for those wishing to provide input to the 2013 federal budget process and is available here.

OECD Gender Publication – Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now

A new report from the OECD focuses on how best to close the gender gaps under four broad headings:

1) Gender equality, social norms and public policies; and gender equality in

2) education;

3) employment and

4) entrepreneurship.

The full report is available here.


OMSSA Highlights

News from the Association


Video of keynote presentations from Human Services Integration now available

Video of the keynote presentations from OMSSA’s November Human Services Integration conference are now available on the OMSSA website. Presentations include:

Marguerite Rapport, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community and Social Services

 Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO of Families International, USA

 Don Lenihan, Vice President – Engagement, Public Policy Forum

 A panel discussion with current and past municipal leaders

Workshop presentations that have been shared with OMSSA by the presenters are also available for download.

OMSSA’s Education – Winter Term

OMSSA’s Winter 2013 Schedule is available - click here for details and to register.

Some upcoming OMSSA workshops of interest to members:

Motivational Interviewing

February 8, 2013 – Toronto

What you will learn:

The fundamental concepts of motivational interviewing, including its spirit and essential strategies.

 The "Stages of Change" model and the relationship between motivational interventions and stages of change.

 How to assess a clients’ readiness for change.

 Motivational interviewing strategies that can be used to explore and resolve feelings of ambivalence or resistance to change.

 Skills for empathic counselling.

Click here to Register

Leading and Managing Projects

March 19 – 20, 2013 – Toronto

Sept 10 – 11, 2013 - Sault Ste. Marie

A useful workshop for anyone who needs the tools to manage projects. Service Managers currently working to complete their 10 year Housing and Homelessness Plans will find the tools of project


management very useful to their plan implementation work. This is also a useful skill set for any staff involved in program planning and implementation.

Value Added: participants will bring their own projects to the session and be able to apply the tools immediately to those projects.

What you will learn:

Understanding project management principles

Understanding the Group Development Model

Understanding the stages in the Project Management Process

Initiation Phase

Planning Phase – goal setting, rules, roles and responsibilities, work planning, resource allocation

Execution Phase – monitoring and modification, evaluation, roadmap

Click here to Register

We are also finalizing the schedule for the rest of the year and will have it available very shortly. We would also like to hear from you if there are any training topics you would like OMSSA to provide – contact Diya Gill, Manager of Education at dgill@omssa.com.

New resources from the Housing and Homelessness Resource Centre

A number of new resources have been added to the Housing and Homelessness Resource Centre.

The resources include a number of new reports as well as an invitation to the Housing Services Corporation’s Innovations in Homelessness: Free Webinar Series.

All resources are available here.