August 9, 2013

Provincial By-elections Held in Five Ontario Ridings

By-elections were held on August 1, 2013 to fill seats in the Provincial Parliament left vacant by the resignations of Liberal MPPs in the ridings of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, London West, Ottawa South, Scarborough-Guildwood and Windsor-Tecumseh.

August 9, 2013


Provincial By-elections Held in Five Ontario Ridings

By-elections were held on August 1, 2013 to fill seats in the Provincial Parliament left vacant by the resignations of Liberal MPPs in the ridings of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, London West, Ottawa South, Scarborough-Guildwood and Windsor-Tecumseh.

Ontario’s newest Members of Provincial Parliament are:  

  • Etobicoke-Lakeshore – Doug Holyday: Progressive Conservative
  • London West – Peggy Sattler: New Democrat
  • Ottawa South – John Fraser: Liberal
  • Scarborough-Guildwood – Mitzie Hunter: Liberal
  • Windsor-Tecumseh – Percy Hatfield: New Democrat

For complete by-election results, click here.

Premier to Tour Communities Across Ontario

Premier Kathleen Wynne begins a four-day tour of the province Friday, August 9th, it has been announced

Premier Wynne’s first stop will be a visit to Protoplast Inc., in Cobourg. She will then speak about building relationships with Aboriginal peoples at the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs in Orillia Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, she will participate in India Independence Day in Toronto, and on Sunday she will be in Kitchener-Waterloo to attend the Sports and Family Day organized by the Golden Triangle Sikh Association. The Premier will conclude her tour on Monday in Brockville, at Newterra.

Premier Wynne will also stop in Vaughan, Thornhill, Cornwall and Belleville.

Province-Wide Consultations to be Held on a New Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has announced the launch of province-wide consultations in support of the development of a new five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy for Ontario. The previous five-year plan, Breaking the Cycle: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, was launched in 2008.

Government-led community consultations to help develop the strategy are starting to take place, and will continue until October 4, 2013.

Individuals and organizations will also have the opportunity to conduct consultations in their communities. Tools to hold your own community consultation will be available online soon. OMSSA will provide more details as they become available.

You can have your say now, by taking part in an online survey. The survey will remain open until October 2013.

OMSSA is reaching out to its partners in MCYS to establish an opportunity for service manager engagement and input in this important initiative.

Enhancing Support for Adults with a Developmental Disability

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has announced that it is boosting support for adults with developmental disabilities, with a focus on those facing the highest risk (e.g. former crown wards with no family support).

The new $42.5 million investment will help families and adults at high risk, reduce waitlist pressures, and better support those with complex needs. Supports include:

  • Emergency support for an estimated 600-800 adults with a developmental disability who have an unexpected temporary need, such as the sudden illness of a caregiver;
  • Training and specialized equipment, such as bed lifts, for community agencies to help adults with complex needs;
  • New or additional direct funding for 850 adults with a developmental disability to support their community participation and provide respite to caregivers; and
  • Residential accommodation or support to help up to 250 adults facing high safety and security risks (e.g., former Crown wards with no family support).

Ontario Government to Launch Youth Employment Fund This Fall

Starting this September, Ontario’s new Youth Employment Fund will help employers offer four-to six-month job and training placements for young people seeking work, the Ontario government has announced.

Ontario will provide up to $7,800 to cover a range of supports and services for each eligible young worker (aged 15-29) under the fund. That includes up to $6,800 to help employers cover wages and training costs, and up to $1,000 to help young workers pay for job-related costs like tools and transportation to work. The fund will be accessible through Employment Ontario or through their local employment service providers.

The Ontario government announced the fund in the 2013 Budget as part of the new Youth Jobs Strategy. The Strategy aims to help more young people find jobs or start their own businesses, and ensure that employers can find the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses. 

OMSSA is working with its members and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to engage the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on this important initiative. Building on the work and role of Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards, OMSSA and AMO are seeking opportunities to maximize the outcomes of the Youth Jobs Strategy by linking and coordinating municipal and provincial efforts.


Supporting Aboriginal Skills Development and Training in Northern Ontario

Through the Skills and Partnership Fund, the Government of Canada announced it will help 260 Aboriginal people in the Ring of Fire region get the skills and experience they need to find good quality, high-paying jobs.

The government has committed over $5.9 million in funding to Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) for its training project in the mining industry. KKETS will partner with Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College to help participants from the Matawa First Nations gain skills for in-demand occupations in the mining industry, such as heavy equipment operator, underground diamond driller helper and environmental monitor.

The Ring of Fire is a 5,000-square kilometre mineral-rich area in the James Bay Lowlands, situated within the traditional lands of two of the Matawa First Nations. Training will be provided for jobs.


College of Early Educators to Require Continuous Professional Learning

After consultation with members, partners and stakeholders, the College of Early Educators has asked the Ontario government to enact a regulation made under the authority of the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECE Act) requiring all of its members to engage in a Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program. It is anticipated that the regulation will come into effect for the September 2014 launch of the program

Providing for the continuing education of its members is one of the duties of the College set out in the ECE Act. Engaging in continuous learning helps registered early childhood educators remain current in their knowledge, skills and professional values. It also promotes public trust in College members and the profession

In recognition of the diversity of its members, the CPL program will not prescribe specific course content, except in very limited circumstances. For example, all members will be required to complete a short introductory training module on the ECE Act and its related regulations and by-laws governing the practice of early childhood education.

The CPL program will require College members to self-assess their learning needs and create an appropriate learning plan to enable them to enhance their professional practice in accordance with the College's ethical and professional standards. It is recognized that learning can take place in a variety of ways and the College does not intend to prescribe the manner in which learning can occur. In addition, the College will not test and assess whether learning has taken place, but will reserve the right to audit a member's learning portfolio if necessary.

A summary of the College's request to the Ontario government can be found on the Regulatory Registry.

If you wish to provide comments on the proposed regulation, the Ministry of Education will be accepting written responses until September 9, 2013 directly through the Regulatory Registry.

What Makes Us Sick? A Report by the Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has released a new report titled, Health Care in Canada: What Makes Us Sick?, based on consultations held with Canadians on their views of the social determinants of health.

Throughout the consultation process, four main social determinants of health were identified: income; housing; nutrition and food security; and early childhood development. The message from participants: poverty is the most important issue and must be addressed.

Participants stressed that society, governments and health care providers all have an obligation to address such problems as poverty, inadequate housing and nutrition.

Based on the input received, the CMA is advocating for a number of actions, including:

  • That the federal, provincial and territorial governments give top priority to developing an action plan to eliminate poverty in Canada;
  • That the guaranteed annual income approach to alleviating poverty be evaluated and tested through a major pilot project funded by the federal government;
  • That the federal, provincial and territorial governments develop strategies to ensure access to affordable housing for low-and middle-income Canadians;
  • That the “Housing First” approach developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to provide housing for people with chronic conditions causing homelessness should be continued and expanded to all;
  • That investments in early childhood development including education programs and parental supports be a priority for all levels of government; and
  • That local databases of community services and programs (health and social) be developed and provided to health care professionals, and where possible, targeted guides be developed for the health care sector.

Report on Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2011

PROOF, a Canadian Institute of Health Research funded research program launched in 2011 to identify effective policy interventions to address household food insecurity has released their first Report on Household Food Insecurity in Canada.

According to the report, almost 3.9 million Canadians experienced some level of food insecurity in 2011. This marks an increase of over 450,000 people since 2008. It includes 1.1 million children living in households that have worried about running out of food, made compromises in the quality of their diets, ate less than they felt they should, and possibly gone without eating, all because they did not have the money to buy more food.

In a statement, Valerie Tarasuk, lead author and PROOF Principal Investigator, signals a need for urgent and more effective responses to the issue of food insecurity at all levels of government.

The “Royal We”: Caledon Institute of Social Policy’s Commentary on the Premiers’ Meeting

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy has released a commentary on the recent Council of the Federation Meeting.

They believe a clear message emerged from the meeting of provincial and territorial Premiers: the Premiers would like to have a national partner with whom they can engage in conversation regarding their myriad challenges. 

Building on early ideals of cooperative federalism, the Caledon Institute cited a number of examples, including: the shared design and delivery of the National Child Benefit in 1998; joint work on the vision paper In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues; and the signing of ground-breaking agreements on early childhood development and child care in 2000 and 2003. 

Caledon’s Sherri Torjman believes that previously there was a prevailing sense of the “royal we.”  Torjman believes this notion had nothing to do with pledging allegiance to the Queen – or even to a new royal baby. Rather, it had everything to do with a sense of national commitment and the need for all governments to talk together and, better still, work collaboratively to enhance the well-being of Canadians.

Webinar: Towards Financial Inclusion: Investing in Immigrant Futures

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Noon Eastern

Access to basic banking – from credit and savings to microfinance – can also contribute to better housing, employment opportunity and a secure future for many immigrants. In this webinar, presented by Cities of Migration, Marco Chavarin, Financial Education and Access Program Manager, San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment (San Francisco) and Dianne Fehr, Executive Director, Immigrant Access Fund of Canada Inc. (Calgary) will discuss how smart initiatives in San Francisco and Calgary are removing barriers to financial inclusion for immigrants, and helping the financially vulnerable achieve a viable path to economic well-being.

 More information and registration information are available here


Municipal Engagement to Help Guide Ontario’s Social Assistance Reform

OMSSA members have anticipated government action on social assistance reform building on the important work of Francis Lankin and Munir Sheikh captured in the Commission for the Review of Social Reform in Ontario report released late in 2012. The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) is now planning its next steps in reform which include discussions with key stakeholders such as municipalities, recipients, delivery agents, employers, academics and other community partners.

Municipal engagement has commenced through the recently established Provincial Municipal Social Assistance and Employment Committee (PMSAEC).  MCSS, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the City of Toronto have agreed to establish a committee that will bring together key municipal and provincial officials for discussions on social assistance reform and related initiatives.

The Committee will provide an opportunity to share information on the development of a long-term plan for social assistance reform and foster dialogue with municipal and provincial partners to gain input and advice on policy and program design options and key implementation considerations.

In its first meeting, the committee discussed the need for collaboration and cooperation in support of improved employment and other outcomes for clients and communities while advancing social assistance reform and broader human services integration.

The committee, which includes OMSSA representation, will meet regularly over the coming year and provide updates on its work as appropriate. MCSS will update its website to inform stakeholders, recipients and the public about its overall engagement strategy.

OMSSA’s 2013 Human Services Integration Policy Conference

Municipal Human Service System Management, 15 years after Local Services Realignment

December 3 - 4, 2013

Toronto, Ontario


Join us this December to explore the present and future of municipal service system management. The 2013 OMSSA Policy Conference acknowledges that it has been 15 years since Local Services Realignment and that much has changed in the social policy landscape since then. Through plenaries, workshops and panel discussions, the conference will examine service system management from different perspectives, including:

  • Exploring the history of municipal service system management and understand how it has shaped the current landscape – a critical discussion especially for those newer to the human services sector in Ontario.
  • Understanding how service system management has helped focus on people centered outcomes.
  • Discussing current and emerging opportunities and challenges in moving to the next step in furthering municipal service system management.
  • Modeling the future of Service System Management, exploring best practices from our own and other jurisdictions to understand the best conditions needed to maximize the capacity of service system management.


More details on this over the coming months – stay tuned.

Upcoming OMSSA Education Opportunities

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


Ontario Works Directives

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


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


Webinar: Changes to the Non-profit Corporations Act

September 23 (2pm – 3:30pm)

October 15 (3:30pm – 5:00pm)

Click here to Register

Bill 65, which is expected to be proclaimed in January 2014, will replace the Ontario Corporations Act (OCA) with the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA). This new legislation will provide a modern legal framework that is intended to address the needs of today's not-for-profit corporations in Ontario. It will simplify some business practices and create greater accountability in other areas to allow for more effective governance of not-for-profit organizations. Attend this webinar to hear more about these changes. Additional Information


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

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


Results Based Performance Measurement

November 20 – 21 - Toronto

Click here to Register

This two day workshop will provide strategies and tips to apply performance measurement processes to human services. Understand the need for measuring performance; learn how to set performance indicators, how to engage stakeholders in the process, and how to use performance measurement in decision-making. Additional information