May 23, 2013

Ontario Avoids a Spring Election as NDP Supports the Liberal Budget


Earlier this week, Ontario’s New Democrat Leader, Andrea Horwath confirmed the NDP will vote in favour of the 2013 budget, stating that the budget meets enough of her party’s demands to warrant their support.

May 23, 2013

Ontario Avoids a Spring Election as NDP Supports the Liberal Budget

Earlier this week, Ontario’s New Democrat Leader, Andrea Horwath confirmed the NDP will vote in favour of the 2013 budget, stating that the budget meets enough of her party’s demands to warrant their support.

In a statement from the Premier on May 17, 2013, the government’s commitment to greater accountability, in particularly the creation of a financial accountability office were firmly stated, a move which satisfied the NDP’s concerns and won their support. The Premier’s move to create this office, the NDP leader believes, addresses Ontarian’s desire for government that is “balanced, accountable and transparent”.

OMSSA 2013 Awards

Each year, OMSSA celebrates the progress made in investing in people by seeking nominations for our annual Awards and Recognition Program. As a part of our commitment to plan, manage and deliver quality human services in Ontario, the OMSSA Awards celebrate individuals and OMSSA members who have made outstanding contributions to both OMSSA and their communities.

These annual awards recognize the best practices and exceptional results accomplished by our members and human service practitioners. Additionally, the OMSSA Awards celebrate extraordinary leadership, engagement and innovative approaches to human services across Ontario. Award winners are celebrated each year at the OMSSA Learning Symposium and Annual General Assembly.

OMSSA would like to congratulate all of this year’s Award recipients and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Learning Symposium in June

The following are those recognized this year through the OMSSA Awards and Recognition Program:

Lifetime Achievement Award: 

  • Merv Hughes, Manager, Social Housing, County of Norfolk
  • Heather MacVicar, General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services, City of Toronto
  • Sally Pincock, Housing Initiatives Coordinator, Regional Municipality of Halton


Local Municipal Champions Award: 

  •  Baamsedaa (Let's Walk Together),County of Lambton
  •  Community Partnership Council established under the Local Immigration Partnership Initiative, Regional Municipality of York
  •  Discretionary Benefits Review Advisory Group, Regional Municipality of Waterloo
  •  Dufferin Coalition for Kids (DuCK), County of Dufferin
  •  Helping Hands Team, City of Hamilton
  •  Hostel Programs Unit and EMS Community Paramedicine Team, Regional Municipality of York
  •  Michele Campbell, Senior Advisor - Housing Services, Regional Municipality of Halton
  •  Oppekehawaso Wekamik Centre, Cochrane DSSAB Regional Poverty Reduction Steering Committee, Regional Municipality of Waterloo
  •  Waterloo Catholic District school Board Early Learning Implementation Team and the Waterloo Region District School Board Early Learning Implementation Team, Regional Municipality of Waterloo


Champion of Human Services Award:    Dr. Clyde Hertzman

Dr. Hertzman played a central role in creating a framework that links population health to human development, emphasizing the special role of early childhood development as a determinant of health. His research contributed to international, national, provincial, and community initiatives for healthy child development. He was the recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2010 Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. Sadly, Dr. Hertzman passed away in February 2013.

OMSSA will be highlighting Dr. Hertzman’s achievements throughout the year through our website, and at our two yearly conferences. Clyde’s colleagues will be speaking at the LS Conference in June, where we will present them with the award and honor and highlight Clyde’s work and contributions.


Patti Moore Human Services Integration Award:    Heather MacVicar, General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services, City of Toronto.

For more details on this and past year’s OMSSA award recipients, please visit the Awards and Recognition page on the OMSSA website.


Transforming Social Assistance

Premier Kathleen Wynne visited an OMSSA member, the City of Windsor's Employment and Training Services, this week where she highlighted the government's commitment to transforming social assistance.

In the 2013 Budget, the government laid out its plan to move forward on implementing key recommendations from the CSARO report by creating a $200 monthly earnings exemption for people who receive benefits from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.  The government would also increase social assistance rates, create more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities and work to reduce poverty rates in Ontario.

New Hosting Fee Formula for Municipalities Hosting Gaming Facilities

The Ministry of Finance shared a new formula to determine the fee municipalities receive for hosting an OLG gaming facility. The new formula will provide more money for host municipalities and will be fair and consistent for all municipalities across the province.

The Cities of Niagara Falls and Windsor as hosts of resort casinos, which have until now been receiving fixed fees plus payments in lieu of property tax under agreements, will now also be compensated under the new formula.


New Privacy Challenges Demand Stronger Protections for Canadians

Today, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart issued a position paper on modernizing Canada’s private sector privacy law to include stronger enforcement powers, mandatory data breach reporting provisions, and increased accountability and transparency measures.  The Case for Reforming the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act offers a roadmap for modernizing Canada’s federal private-sector privacy law so that it more effectively tackles current and future privacy issues.


Child Care in a Full-Day Kindergarten World

70% of Ontario women with young children work outside the home. Child care matters to just about every family in the province.  Full-day kindergarten promised an entire day of seamless learning for Ontario's youngest students to help with that issue. However, as it pulls 4 and 5 year olds into the schools, new challenges for child care have emerged.  This video from The Agenda with Steve Paikin, talks to a panel of experts about the state of child care in a full-day kindergarten world.

Social Finance in Canada 2013

In 2010-11, The Public Policy Forum conducted a series of consultations and research that resulted in two publications: Barriers to Social Finance in Canada and Supporting Social Finance Fund Development in Canada. These reports outlined the social finance infrastructure in Canada, identified barriers and provided options for the Government of Canada to advance the field of social finance. In 2013, the Forum consulted experts in an effort to get a sense of the current state of play in the field.

As found in the summary report, consultations unveiled that there has been a significant increase in knowledge and interest in social finance over the past several years. New funds have been established and new investors are entering the market. Despite these changes, growth in money invested in social finance has been relatively slow. However, several barriers remain including limited deal flow, high costs and regulatory barriers in fund registration, foundation investment restrictions, and restrictions on charities and nonprofits that deter them from seeking investment.


Register Now!

The 2013 OMSSA Learning Symposium, “Whole Child = Whole Community” is fast approaching.  Don’t miss out on this exciting and innovative conference that will highlight how addressing and integrating issues of poverty, housing, early learning and child care, and employment for the whole community is critical to providing an environment conducive to the healthy growth of children.


Important dates:

May 23 – hotel group rate cut off

May 24 – Early-bird registration cut off


Monday, June 17Opening Plenary - Whole Child and the Whole Community: Why it Matters

Speaker:  Alex Munter, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario


Wednesday, June 19Closing Plenary - The Power of One in the Age of Social Media: Connecting with Others to Induce ChangeSpeaker:  Dave Carroll, award winning singer-songwriter and social media innovator


With over twenty workshop sessions, three educational tours, networking breakfasts with provincial colleagues, engaging networking opportunities and the Mardi Gras themed awards banquet, this conference offers something for everyone. 

We are making this conference bilingual! Here are some of the ways we are making this conference bilingual:

-         French translation captioning during all plenary sessions.

-         Bilingual moderators to facilitate workshop sessions.

-         Bilingual Communication materials such as this email.

-         Conference Program on the mobile conference program is available in English and French.

-         The conference program-at-a-glance printed in English and French.

Click here to access the conference website and mobile program, including registration forms.  

Workshop sessions are being offered in all program areas.  Here are a few sessions specifically designed for staff in Housing and Income and Employment:




Income and Employment:


Conference Hotel:

Delta Ottawa City Centre

101 Lyon Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 5T9

A block of rooms have been arranged at the conference hotel for the group rate of $172.00/night plus applicable taxes. Book on or before May 23, 2013 by calling 1-855-330-5360 or 613-237-3600 ext. 6200, and reference the OMSSA Learning Symposium.  Click here to book on-line.

If you have any questions or require assistance navigating the conference website, please contact Christie Abramovic, Events Coordinator, at  For registration inquiries please contact Meagan Shepherd, Education Coordinator, at

Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities!           

Ontario Works Directives

London – May 27 – 29, 2013

Toronto - September 17 - 19, 2013

Click here to Register

This interactive 3 day course will provide you the opportunity to research and apply the new Directives to real life case studies. Refresh your knowledge of the Directives in preparation for the roll out of your SAMS later in 2013!

Additional Information


Email and other Electronic Communications: The new rules for writing and getting action

Webinar - June 4, 2013 (10:00am – 11:30pm)

Click here to Register

E‐mail is fast and easy for senders, but can be stressful for receivers.  Understanding this imbalance is key to making effective use of e‐mail. Attend this webinar to gain skills and tips to ensure your messages get attention and action.

Additional Information


Effective Risk Based Decision Making: Managing Risk in Working with Community Human Services

June 5 - 6, 2013 - North Bay

September 26 – 27 - Toronto

Click here to Register

Understand how risk management principles apply to human services, and how to apply risk management concepts to improve and support your decision making process. Attend this workshop to learn how to incorporate risk mitigation strategies into your organizational systems, strategies, and decision making practices.

Additional information