June 28, 2013

Welcome to another edition of our E.D. Letter – full today of some exciting updates!

The first is that our new website is up and running.  During our AGM last week in Ottawa I was able to preview a few pages to delegates present.  Now we have even more pages ready and information on the site, including most of the presentations and some of the videos from the Learning Symposium.  Below you can read a bit more on the conference under OMSSA highlights.

June 28, 2013

Welcome to another edition of our E.D. Letter – full today of some exciting updates!

The first is that our new website is up and running.  During our AGM last week in Ottawa I was able to preview a few pages to delegates present.  Now we have even more pages ready and information on the site, including most of the presentations and some of the videos from the Learning Symposium.  Below you can read a bit more on the conference under OMSSA highlights.

At the Symposium and AGM last week OMSSA delegates also welcomed in a new President, Janet Menard, Commissioner, Region of Peel, and Board of Directors.  Over the coming editions you will be able to read more about them, starting with Janet and some of her remarks from her in-coming President’s speech.

Another highlight I want to draw to your attention is the resources OMSSA has developed to support public engagement processes in becoming truly accessible.  We concluded our last forum of the season in Ottawa on June 20th, and also premiered new tools and resources that we can make available to CMSMs and DSSABs and your communities to assist you in improving engagement with people with disabilities in public decision-making.  See more below too.

Finally, I am pleased to let you know that we have the date and theme for our Fall Human Services Integration Policy Conference out and that more details will follow over the summer.  The conference will focus on all we have learned, and still have to learn, and what we have to teach about municipal human services system management fifteen years after Local Service Realignment.

 As we head into the summer months together, please know that the E.D. Letter will be published every two weeks until Labour Day. 

 And all my best for a wonderful July and August to all of you, Kira


2013 Child Care Budget Highlights 

At the recent OMSSA Learning Symposium in Ottawa, it was confirmed for OMSSA members that the 2013 provincial budget included funding increases for child care through to 2016. Additional information has been provided to OMSSA and our analysis indicates that the 2013 includes increases to child care funding of 2% or more per year or approximately $20m annually.  

The 2013 Budget announced $39M in fiscal year 2015–16 to support the child care system (page 77).  These funds include:

  • $18M to complete the roll out of the 2009 stabilization announcement of $51M at maturity; and
  • $21M to enhance the multi-year child care modernization investment announced in April 2012.  

This new $21M investment is on top of about $84M approved to continue the Child Care Modernization investment into 2015-16.    

The investments included in the 2013 Budget grow the total new child care modernization investment of $242M over three years to $346M over four years on a fiscal basis ($90M in 2012–13 which includes the $50m mitigation funding, $68M in 2013–14, $84M in 2014–15, $105M in 2015-16) excluding school-based child care capital. 

The cash value of the four-year child care modernization investment is now about $465M including funding to support school-based child care capital.

Ontario Government Boosting Ontario Child Benefit 

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced Ontario is increasing support for parents through a boost to the Ontario Child Benefit.  Beginning next month, 510,000 families will receive an increase of up to $110 and 24,000 families will become eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit for the first time. The benefit will increase in July 2013 to a maximum annual payment of $1,210 for each child, and then to $1,310 in July 2014.

Resignation of Laurel Broten as MPP Effective July 2, 2013 

Earlier this week Ontario Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Laurel Broten announcedher resignation from provincial politics, stepping down as the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore effective July 2, 2013.  Broten served in various diverse portfolios including Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of the Environment and Minister of Education.  In these roles she worked closely with OMSSA and OMSSA members, and helped increase the profile and awareness of the municipal service system manager role to both ministries.  Broten was also an advocate for the women of Ontario, introduced the Clean Water Act to safeguard Ontario's drinking water and oversaw the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy.   

Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza will become the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.

Resignation of Margarett Best as MPP 

Yesterday also brought the news that Margarett Best, MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood is also resigning.  Best held several cabinet portfolios and served on committees dedicated to poverty reduction and social health.  As Minister of Health Promotion, she helped to ban smoking in cars when children are present and led Ontario's successful bid for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, which will showcase our region at its finest.  In 2011, Margarett made history by becoming the first African-Canadian woman to successfully win re-election to the Ontario legislature. 

This brings the number of resignations, and by-elections to come, to five since Premier Wynne became Premier.  OMSSA will monitor updates re by-elections and pass on to delegates as things progress. 

 Ontario Government Providing More Support to Crown Wards and Youth Leaving Care 

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has announcedthat Ontario is partnering with more universities and colleges to help former Crown wards and youth in and leaving the care of Children's Aid Societies pay for their postsecondary education.  Starting this September, the government will partner with all Ontario universities and a third of the province's colleges to provide a grant of $500 per month to help cover living costs for former Crown wards aged 21 to 24 who are enrolled in OSAP-eligible college and university programs.  Together, this partnership will also cover 100 per cent of tuition fees, up to a maximum of $6,000 per year, for former Crown wards and youth who are in and leaving care. 

Federal Government Announces Changes to Employment Insurance for Incarcerated Individuals 

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announcedmodifications to the Employment Insurance Act, through Bill C-316 which received royal assent this week, that remove preferential access for convicted criminals to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.  

Reports Released by CMHC  

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has released recently various reports and resources:   

  •  Seniors' Housing Report- This publication, resulting from a Seniors' Housing Survey, provides a description and analysis of the seniors' housing market in Canada, including vacancy rates, rents and universe data.  Ontario specific information is noted for 15 Ontario Census Market areas.    
  •  The spring Rental Market Surveywhich finds thatCanada’s rental vacancy rate has increased.
  •  The Research Highlight Building Families' Futures and Opportunities through Habitat Homeownership summarizes the results of a 2012 Canada-wide survey of families who purchased a home through Habitat for Humanity Canada. The research sought to provide information for assessing the impacts of home buying with Habitat across Canada. It examines the outcomes for Habitat homebuyers, including social, financial, health and other outcomes.

Metcalf Foundation Report on Public Funding for Social Impact through the Non-Profit Sector 

The Metcalf Foundation has released a new report Fair Exchange: Public funding for social impact through the non-profit sector. The paper is for public funders — municipal, provincial and federal — and those in the non-profit sector who share an interest in how money from public treasuries flows to approximately 165,000 non-profit organizations across the country. In addition to providing an in-depth overview of public funding practices, the paper is also an insightful examination of what it means to fund well.  The report is written by Marilyn Struthers, currently the John C. Eaton Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ryerson University, Faculty of Community Services.

Indigenous Children Face Poverty 

A new study, Poverty or Prosperity:  Indigenous children in Canada released by the CCPA and Save the Children Canada, finds that 40% of Indigenous children in Canada are living in poverty. The report, authored by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald and Indigenous rights advocate Daniel Wilson, finds that Indigenous children in Canada are over two and a half times more likely to live in poverty than non-Indigenous children—and that they trail the rest of Canada’s children on practically every measure of well-being, including: family income, educational attainment, water quality, infant mortality, health, suicide, crowding and homelessness.

Canadians are Most Satisfied with Municipal Order of Government  

Last week, Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), issued a statement at the close of the 76th Annual Conference and Trade show for municipal leaders across Canada.  His address highlighted a survey released by Angus Reid's 'Vision Critical'finding that Canadians are more satisfied with services delivered by local governments than by any other order of government.  The online survey found 71 per cent of Canadians are satisfied with their local government services.


Education Highlights

 2013 OMSSA Annual General Meeting and Learning Symposium Concludes 

From June 16 – 19, the City of Ottawa hosted over 250 delegates attending the 2013 OMSSA Annual General Meeting and Learning Symposium. The 3 day event was filled with great plenary speakers, workshop sessions, networking and more. For those of you who were unable to join your colleagues in attendance, presentations and recordings of some of the plenary sessions are now available on the OMSSA Website.  You can also follow the conversations that occurred on twitter during the event.


OMSSA launches New Workshops for Accessible Public Engagement 

At the Annual General Meeting held in Ottawa last week, OMSSA announced two new resourcesdeveloped to help organizations embed accessibility into their community and stakeholder engagement processes.  

A new workshop series is being developed to build on these guides. The series will include strategies for making the community/public engagement process accessible, conducting accessible meetings, incorporating social media into public engagement and doing so accessibly.  

The first of these products, a workshop on Building an Accessible Public Engagement Process is being developed for this fall and will soon be available. Members will have the following options to obtain this workshop:

  • Attend an OMSSA scheduled session – coming around the province this fall.
  • Order this workshop in your organization to train all staff in one session.
  • Host a session for your community partners – remember, they need to engage their stakeholders too and will appreciate some of these tips and strategies. 

For more details or to arrange a session, contact Diya Gill, Manager of Education at dgill@omssa.com 

 Other Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities!           


Developing your Social Media Strategy

September 19, 2013 - Toronto

Click here to Register 

How can social media help staff connect with partners to better integrate their service delivery? Attend this session to learn how social media can be used to engage the community to develop and refine social programs, and how to start developing a strategy to integrate social media into human services departments and organizations.

Additional Information


Leading and Managing Projects

Sault Ste. Marie September 10 – 11, 2013

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