January 17, 2013

News from Queen’s Park and Ontario

Ontario launches Action Plan for seniors

As a follow up that builds on last week’s release of key recommendations and highlights in Living Longer, Living Better, the Government of Ontario announced this week that it is launching an Action Plan, using a cross-government approach. The plan draws on new and existing programs and initiatives and will:

January 17, 2013

News from Queen’s Park and Ontario

Ontario launches Action Plan for seniors

As a follow up that builds on last week’s release of key recommendations and highlights in Living Longer, Living Better, the Government of Ontario announced this week that it is launching an Action Plan, using a cross-government approach. The plan draws on new and existing programs and initiatives and will:

Provide more home care services by expanding personal support worker services through community support agencies.

Create a 'one-stop' information source for seniors' services online at ontario.ca/seniors and by phone at 1-888-910-1999.

Enhance elder abuse prevention training for community agencies.

Implement a wandering prevention program to help families living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

The full media release is available here.

Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund now accepting applications for 2013-2014

This fund will be awarded to eligible local, regional, and provincial sport and recreation organizations to implement innovative programs and services that:

Increase opportunities for participation in sport and recreation;

Educate Ontarians about the important role physical activity plays in their health;

Provide training in areas such as coaching, youth development, and volunteer development.

More information on the fund and how organizations can apply is available here.


Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party release white paper on social assistance reform

The Progressive Conservatives released a white paper today as part of their growing Paths to Prosperity policy platform. Entitled

Paths to Prosperity: Welfare to Work, the paper outlines the PC Party's vision for social assistance reform in Ontario, a vision that supports a number of the recommendations in both the report from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Service and Brighter Prospects: Transforming Social Assistance in Ontario

- the final report tabled by the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario.

An initial scan for the role of CMSMs and DSSABs is highlighted in the following excerpt from the paper:

"The sharing of welfare and disability responsibilities has been a contentious issue for municipalities. Yet it is incumbent on government at all levels to ensure we are getting value for the dollars we have to distribute. More wasted tax dollars means less for the essential programs that Ontario residents have paid for, and less for the services our less fortunate depend upon.

We advocate replacing Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program with one program that is streamlined and better coordinated. This single program would provide individualized employment services to all social assistance recipients, including those with disabilities. Don Drummond, Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh all recommended this approach. In particular, Frances Lankin proposed to the current government a single program that focused on ability, not disability. This change needs to be done in a way that does not negatively impact the municipal sector which is grappling with its own fiscal challenges". (pg. 9)

OMSSA will review the paper in the coming days and will continue to keep members informed as more information becomes available.

Ontario offering loans to assist women in low-income situations start businesses

Mico-loans will be made available to low-income women looking to start their own business as part of a new program for women in Ontario. In addition to the loans, the program will provide financial literacy training, entrepreneurial mentoring, skills development and life skills support to women. The program is a partnership with local communities. Specific details of the partnerships can be found in the release linked below.

The full media release is available here.

A news article from the Toronto Star outlines the investment.

New Legal Age Identifier on Ontario driver’s licences and photo cards

Beginning January 1, 2013, a new identifier on Ontario driver's licences and photo cards will clearly show when card holders turn 19. The identifier will read "age 19" followed by the exact date the card holder turns 19, all in bold letters. It will be located near the bottom of the card, beside the date of birth.

Full details are available here the ministry media release,

Ontario Government seeking input on fire protection in retirement homes and care facilities



News from Ottawa and across Canada

Resource Corner

Links to current research and other resources to support OMSSA members

The Ontario Government is seeking input on proposed changes to the Fire Code and Building Code in an effort to improve fire safety in residence for seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable individuals.

Input on the proposed changes is being accepted until February 28, 2013. The proposed changes as well as instructions for submitting comments are available here.

New Report on helping Canadians with disabilities find jobs

In partnership with Canadian Business leaders, the Government of Canada released the report

Rethinking disability in the Private Sector

. The report was tabled by the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

The report works to identify successes and best practices in the employment of people with disabilities, as well as barriers faced by employers in employing people with disabilities.

The media release from government is available here.

The full report is available here.

A news article from the Globe and Mail summarizes the results.

National guidelines around mental health in the workplace released

On Wednesday, federal Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Standards Association and Quebec’s standards development body (BNQ) introduced voluntary standards on psychological health and safety in the workplace.

The voluntary guidelines aim to get employers to:

Consider the mental well-being of employees and identify hazards.

Assess workplace hazards such as stressors from job demands.

Strive for work/life balance.

Help workers feel they are treated with fairness, respect and rewarded for their contributions.

The framework addresses prevention, promotion and implementation of the guidelines and includes tools for auditing current workplace environments.

January 2013 issues of Policy Options



OMSSA Highlights

News from the Association


The January 2013 issues of Policy Options is available here for free download.

The January issues focuses on Science, and is available here.

New design to address homelessness

A group designing innovative support systems in Portland Oregon is identifying better ways of living for the homeless and for communities at large. The project takes a new look at shelters as living organisms that can help to curb teen homelessness.

The full article including links to design concepts is available here.

2013 OMSSA Awards and Recognition Program - Nominations extended to February 22, 2013

OMSSA’s Awards and Recognition Program celebrates the work of individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to both OMSSA and their communities in delivering quality human services in Ontario.

Awards will be presented during the OMSSA Learning Symposium in Ottawa (June 16

th-19th, 2013). The nominations deadline has been extended until February 22th

– but don’t delay, send in your nomination as early as possible.

All information including nomination forms is available here.

Last chance to register: e-Learning and Digital Media for Workplace Learning

Using e-Learning and Digital Media for Workplace Learning

Toronto – January 25, 2013

Registration will close on January 18


This 1-day workshop provides an overview of new and emerging technologies that can be used to engage clients and staff, impart knowledge, foster collaboration, and deliver compelling messages.

You will learn how to:

Create and deliver instructional videos

 Promote and capture dialogue after learning sessions

 Store and retrieve course material

 Facilitate policy training

 Curate learning content

 Select and use different free software in workplace learning and communication

Attend this training if you:

Develop or facilitate training.


Provide skills training to job seekers.

 Communicate policies and procedures to members of your organization.

Click here to Register