1st Quarter CAO Activity Report - May 16, 2024

2024 First Quarter CAO Activity Report 
May 16, 2024

The following is the most recent consolidated Quarterly Report that the DSB will be sending to member municipalities and posting on the public website. Expect Quarterly Reports in February, May, September, and November of each year. 

The program statistics are provided separately and updated monthly. They are available on the website by clicking the following link:  Monthly Program Statistics 

CAO Overview

The DSB 2024 First Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $326,908. Ontario Works is forecasted to be $2,631 over budget. Children’s Services expenses are forecasted to be on budget. Community Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $172,382. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $480,688. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $635,348 more than budgeted. 

The DSB quarterly financial reports are available on the DSB website by clicking the following link: Quarterly Financial Reports

Paramedic Services

The posting for external recruitment of Regular Part-time Primary Care Paramedics has remained in place through the first quarter of 2024. Over the three-month period, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB received three applications for employment in one of these positions. The hiring process remains rigorous to ensure high quality paramedics within our agency. One paramedic was hired and begins orientation in May, while one candidate was not able to successfully navigate the hiring process and the third rescinded their application during the process. The current recruitment strategy will remain in place through 2024. Meetings with our partners at Cambrian College, College Borel and CTS-Sudbury have been set to collaborate on recruitment strategies moving forward.    

Paramedic Services went live with the PreHos Patient Records solution on March 1, 2024, effectively shelving the ESO I-Medic platform. Installation of key components such as RAM mounts and gateway devices was completed in the first quarter of 2024. Since the activation date, senior staff have been working to resolve outstanding issues related to system performance. The vendor has committed to resolving all outstanding issues and staff have set recurring meetings on a biweekly basis to work through the process in a project management manner.  

Community Paramedicine

The service’s Community Paramedicine (CP) program has successfully recruited two Full time qualified CP staff from other services. Both of these team members have completed their orientation and are operational. The CP team is now fully staffed and one team member who has been off is completing their return to work process. 

Staff are exploring the system design for district-wide CP capture and will be advancing a plan that decentralizes some of our resources to better manage clients. 

Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board received base funding from Ontario Health from two separate envelopes for $250,000 and $369,806. These amounts for fiscal year 2023-24 were to support the Community Paramedicine Program. These dollars, in addition to the ongoing Ministry of Long-Term Care funding will provide for significant capacity to operate the CP program across the districts. 

The CP program has received funding for a pilot program that will engage a patient navigator to assist with wrap-around patient services across the service area. The project is being developed in collaboration with the Espanola General Hospital and Manitoulin Health Centre. The navigators will work collaboratively with the CPs and other agencies. The first of these two positions will be onboarded in late May, with the second coming online shortly thereafter. 
Finally, the CP program is advancing the patient care scope to include wound care and phlebotomy as identified priority items. This service has been identified as a significant opportunity and will become a standard for the entire team over time.  

Non-Urgent Patient Transportation Service (PTS)

The PTS system continues to operate on a 7 day per week basis with two units operating Monday to Friday on ten-hour shifts and a single crew operating on a 12-hour shift over the weekend. 
The deployment model of Personal Support Workers and Patient Transfer Attendants is proving successful, and the service has been able to fully staff the program. The collaborative funding model will continue in 2024 and will permit continued service into the future.

The PTS service has rolled out a new booking process through PreHos solutions. The system went live on March 1, 2024, and staff continue to work with PreHos to address some ongoing issues. 

Management Team 

In this first quarter of 2024, Paramedic Services has brought a fourth full-time Superintendent on board to replace Deputy Chief Travis Dewar. Travis was promoted to deputy Chief to replace DC Beadman following his retirement in late 2023. While we wish Tim Beadman the warmest wishes as he enjoys his well-deserved retirement following a 42-year career, we look forward to the future that Travis will offer the DSB.  Paramedic Zach Tremblay has been successfully recruited to the permanent Superintendent position and brings forward extensive experience, joining Lyssa Seguin, Curtis Watson and Darren Simond. Congratulations to each of these team members.    

Children’s Services

In the Manitoulin-Sudbury District, there are currently 22 licensed child care locations, with 14 centre-based sites in schools, 1 centre based community location and 7 licensed home child care sites. During the first quarter, a total of 611 children were enrolled in child care services, with 507 paying full fees and 104 receiving subsidies. This reflects an 11% increase from last quarter and a 9% increase from the corresponding quarter last year. During the first quarter, Special Needs Resourcing supported an average of 57 children, ranging from infants to school-age. This marks a notable increase of 27% compared to the same quarter last year. 

In the first quarter, EarlyON programs welcomed 3,223 visits from parents/caregivers and children. These services are provided through various means including mobile, virtual, and outdoor programs. This represents an 11% increase from the same quarter last year. 

Emerging Issues

In the first quarter, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB implemented an Emerging Issues Funding Process aligning with the 2024 CWELCC Guidelines to assist programs facing non-discretionary cost pressures, including the increasing cost of food. 

2023 Licensed Child Care Data Profiles

Staff received a memo from the Ministry of Education regarding Ontario’s 2023 Early Years and Child Care Annual Report, and the 2023 Licensed Child care Data Profiles. The data will be reviewed, and an issue report presented to the board in April.

Updates to Ontario’s Child Care Workforce Strategy and the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System

The Ministry of Education communicated updates on Ontario's Workforce Strategy and the 2024 CWELCC Guidelines on March 28th. Following the November memo, wage increases for eligible staff were implemented beginning January 1, 2024. Staff will provide an overview to the Board in April outlining the funding updates.

Organizational Reviews

Gallagher Group Inc. has been retained by the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB to conduct organizational reviews for each of our Early Years Service Providers. After the review, a comprehensive report of findings will be submitted to the DSB and the Board Chair of each organization. This report will identify areas of potential risk and offer recommendations for improvement. These assessments will be conducted throughout 2024.

Ontario Works

In the first quarter of 2024, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care Caseload average was 479. Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decreased by 8.06%.

Centralized Intake 

160 applications were received by the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB in the first quarter of 2024. Of the 160 applications received, 51 were auto granted by the Intake and Benefits Administration Unit (IBAU), 55 were referred by the IBAU to the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB for processing, and 18 were transfers from another Ontario Works (OW) office. The remaining 36 applications were processed at the local office rather than being referred to Centralized Intake as certain applications are not yet being processed by the IBAU, or there were extenuating circumstances that warranted an expedited approach to granting assistance. 

The initial goal of Centralized Intake was to have 70% of applications completed by the IBAU. During the first quarter of 2024, 32% of applications were completed by the IBAU. 

Employment Ontario Allocations for Fiscal Year 2024-2025

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development shared a memorandum about funding decisions for Employment Ontario programs.  

Funding remains unchanged for Employment Services (ES), Youth Job Connection (YJC), Youth Job Connection Summer (YJCS) which will help ensure continuity in services. The ministry is preparing to roll out the final phase of Employment Services Transformation which will impact the North-East, North-West and Toronto catchment areas.

Employment Ontario 

The Employment Services, Youth Job Connect and Youth Job Connect Summer programs continue to be advertised and delivered from the Chapleau office. 

From January to March 2024:

  • There were eight new registrations for Employment Services and nine files were closed. 
  • There were no new registrations for the YJC program, and one file was closed. 
  • There are no new registrations for the Youth Job Connection Summer program yet and one file was closed. 
  • 388 individuals were assisted by Employment Services 
  • 15 individuals participated in First Aid and/or Working at Heights Training with Alpha en Partage

Quality Assurance

During the first quarter of 2024, the Quality Assurance (QA) Coordinator for the Child Care and Ontario Works programs focused on enhancing organizational effectiveness, improving service quality, and fostering community engagement. 

In collaboration with an external advisor, the QA Coordinator finalized and shared the Manitoulin-Sudbury Network for Children and Families 2024-28 strategic plan, actively participating in Local Service Provider Network meetings to ensure its dissemination and to address any questions. 

The QA Coordinator also supported Local Service Provider Network screening days, the planning and hosting of an in-person child care provider meeting, successfully revitalized the Manitoulin-Sudbury Child Care Supervisor's Network, and maintained ongoing collaboration for the Infant & Early Years Mental Health Deep Dive Day scheduled for June 2025. In collaboration with the district's Pedagogical Leads, the QA Coordinator developed a presentation outlining the group's history, status, and future goals, with plans to present it to the Executive Directors and Supervisors of each of the district's licenced child care agencies in the second quarter. 

Additionally, the QA Coordinator focused on internal capacity building by supporting cross-training and facilitating community partner presentations at internal Integrated Human Services meetings. Their engagement extended to providing feedback on Social Assistance Management System issues and informing staff of upcoming updates in collaboration with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Business Innovation & Implementation Branch. 

Looking ahead, the QA Coordinator initiated planning for an All-Staff and Community Partner professional development event scheduled for May of 2024 in Espanola and an Early Childhood Educator professional development event dated for the fall of 2024. They also contributed to the planning of the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association Annual General Meeting to take place in June of 2024.

During this last quarter, the Quality Assurance Coordinator for housing and homelessness has been participating in the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee and the Transition from Incarceration to Community Initiative. The QA coordinator recently completed a supportive housing course through the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.

Support of the foodbanks continues throughout the district which included, a review of demographic data and local usage including items provided to foodbank users. Part of the review involved meeting with Feed Ontario and Sudbury Foodbank to determine what items are provided to foodbank users in other areas. The analysis resulted in changes to the budget for each foodbank, as well as changes to the items that the Sudbury Foodbank provides to the local food banks. These changes were made to ensure we could increase the amount of food reaching foodbank users while working within the budget. 

The QA Coordinator has been facilitating a partnership between Public Health and the Foodbanks. Public Health has provided The Basic Shelf Cookbook to the food banks in anticipation of increasing the capacity of foodbank users to best utilize the food they receive; the partnership is in the preliminary stages of development.

The QA continues to take part in regular discussions around community emergency food response plans and food insecurity with stakeholders in Manitoulin. 

In addition to supporting partners in their efforts to address food security, the QA Coordinator continues to develop partnerships to support individuals without permanent housing. 

Presentations regarding the By Name List are ongoing, as well as requests for participation from our community partners to help identify individuals without permanent housing in our communities. There are ongoing efforts to recruit front-line community partners to participate in biweekly Case Conferencing calls with the goal of moving individuals through the housing process while supporting their immediate needs.

The QA has been focusing on ensuring participation from all the communities within our catchment area. As of March 31, 2024, there were a total of 52 households/69 individuals on the By Name List, 17 of whom identified as Indigenous, 26 individuals are in the LaCloche area, 25 on Manitoulin Island, 12 in Sudbury North and 6 were from Sudbury East.

The QA coordinator attended the Coming into Circle gathering on Manitoulin Island where service providers, community members and individuals with lived experience gathered to discuss and develop an action plan to address the opioid crisis, more work will be required to finalize the action plan. 

Community Housing

There were 558 applications at the end of the 1st quarter. The applicant breakdown is as follows:  
1 Bedroom      414            2 Bedroom        62
3 Bedroom       48             4 bedroom        34

Staff continue to identify and complete the application process with eligible applicants for the DSS program. All applicants receiving the benefit are deemed housed. As of the end of this quarter there were 236 active Direct Shelter Subsidy recipients. At the end of Q4 of last year there were 203 recipients and at this time last year there were 196.

Per DSB Policy, every effort is being made where the waitlist allows us to mix the Community Housing Buildings with RGI, Affordable and Market Rent Tenants. As of March 31, 2024, we have successfully housed 28 market rent tenants and 127 affordable rent tenants. This represents 9.5% and 43% of our portfolio respectively and shows an increase of 5 Market rent and 5 affordable rents from last quarter (5% increase). Comparably, at this time last year, we reported 11 market rent tenants (4%) and 104 affordable (38%)  

As of the end of the 1st quarter of 2024, 226/295 of the portfolio’s units are designated as Smoke-free.  This represents 77% of the full portfolio currently. Units are designated as turnover occurs or should the current resident choose.

Projects Underway

Capital Projects with Housing Services Corporation

Currently, 3 of the Island Community Housing Buildings are in the process of replacement Make–Up Air units (Little Current, Manitowaning, and Gore Bay).  The project is well underway with only 1 change order thus far resulting from an incompatible fire panel in Little Current that will require a replacement.  These projects are using some COCHI dollars from the 2023-2024 funding year to assist with the cost.

It should be noted that with the announcement regarding funding under the National Housing Strategy, we have taken a proactive approach.  An issue report will be going to the board in April 2024.  Any projects that were not already contracted, have been placed on hold pending further information. 

We have contracted design specifications for projects in Chapleau and Espanola that we will be continuing.  Work on these specifications will occur once any funding has been released.  The Capital plan for 2024 will be evaluated and projects that are more priority may be moved forward for planning and completion within the budgeted allocations.

Work Orders

During the quarter (January – March 2024) a total of 287 Work Orders were generated: 229 for Community Housing; 9 for Administration Offices, and 49 for Paramedic Services.  There was a total of 173 Work Orders closed or resolved during that time.  There were 7 work orders for unit turnovers: 1 for family units and 6 for apartments. Work orders are closed if the work is done in-house, or when the invoice is paid from an outside source. 
It should be noted that from the same quarter of 2023, we have a 28% increase in the number of work orders logged.

Donna Stewart
Chief Administrative Officer 
Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board 
Phone: 705-222-0499
E mail: donna.stewart@msdsb.net  
Website: www.msdsb.net