May 30, 2013

FLS Commissioner Publishes the Government’s Responses to the Recommendations of his 2011-2012 Annual Report

French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau published the government’s responses to the recommendations of his 2011-2012 Annual Report, Straight Forward, as well as his comments and analysis.

May 30, 2013


FLS Commissioner Publishes the Government’s Responses to the Recommendations of his 2011-2012 Annual Report

French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau published the government’s responses to the recommendations of his 2011-2012 Annual Report, Straight Forward, as well as his comments and analysis.

In its responses to the recommendations of the 2011-2012 Annual Report, the government states that in managing the current economic challenges facing the province, it will not lose sight of its commitments to the Franco-Ontarian community and its obligations toward the French Language Services Act.

The Commissioner’s 2012-2013 Annual Report, entitled A New Approach, will be officially published on June 5, 2013.

Ontario Helps Social Enterprises Create Jobs and Strengthen Communities

The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment announced the Ontario government is launching the country's first microloan fund to help social enterprises -- businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue -- create more jobs and strengthen local communities.

The province has partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation, TD Bank Group, Microsoft Canada, Alterna Savings, KPMG and Social Capital Partners to launch the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund. Under the fund, social enterprises that help solve a social, environmental, cultural or economic problem, such as youth unemployment, may qualify for a loan of $5,000 to $25,000 and support services like mentorship.

Ontario is also launching a new Office for Social Enterprise led by Special Advisor Helen Burstyn. The office will promote social entrepreneurship across Ontario, partnering with the private, not-for-profit and public sectors to coordinate and expand the tools available to social entrepreneurs.

Ontario Strengthening Patient Privacy

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that Ontario it is working to protect patient privacy by making personal health information more secure so that electronic health records can be shared by health care providers in a patient's circle of care.

After working closely with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the Ontario government introduced legislation this week that, if passed, would establish privacy and security requirements for shared electronic health records, clarify the rules under which health care providers may collect, use and disclose personal health information and support faster treatment and diagnosis decision-making.


Government of Canada Supports Participation of People with Disabilities in all Aspects of Life

The federal government announced their plan this week to increase support, tools and resources to help address social issues that people with disabilities face in their communities.

People First of Canada, a national organization led and operated by people with intellectual disabilities, will receive funding to operate a national information resource centre in Winnipeg to help support people with disabilities. The organization will host forums and information sessions and use social media to educate the Canadian public on issues and barriers faced by people with disabilities. In addition, training opportunities will be available to help people with disabilities develop their social integration, leadership and public presentation skills.


Canadian Medical Association Looks to Social Determinants of Health

According to this CBC News report, Canadian doctors are finding that adding to poor patients' incomes works to decrease the health effects of poverty. The Canadian Medical Association is asking people across the country how poverty affects their health as part of its national dialogue tour. The group claims that social and economic factors determine 50 per cent of health outcomes.  Statistics Canada has reported that growing up in poverty is associated with increased rates of death and illness including diabetes, mental illness, stroke, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, central nervous system disease and injuries.

Historic Right to Housing Challenge

The first round of an historic legal challenge on the right to housing was argued in court this week.  The Right to Housing legal challenge has been launched by legal advocates with the goal of recognizing a legally enforceable right to housing under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Wellesley Institute’s Director of Housing and Innovation, Michael Shapcott, prepared one of the expert affidavits in support of the legal challenge. 

National Welfare Council Comes Back to Life

A year ago, the National Welfare Council, a 43-year-old agency, weakened by successive government cutbacks, was on its last legs.  This Toronto Star commentary reports on how Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman, president and vice-president of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, have revived the council and have transformed it in to a modern online repository of socioeconomic information. 

They plan to release their first offering, an up-to-date version of the welfare’s council’s compendium of welfare rates across the country, next month. In December, they will replace its national poverty profile, add a new database, and a coast-to-coast look at minimum wage rates.

The new national data hub will be called the Canada Social Report. Initially it will include 72 federal and provincial social indicators, from pension coverage to child tax benefits, employment insurance payments to inequality trends.


Early Bird Deadline Extended to May 31st… 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.

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. 

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


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 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!           

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

Developing your Social Media Strategy

June 25, 2013 – Sudbury

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 webinar 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

Toronto - July 2 - 3, 2013

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