2nd Quarter Activity Report- September 21, 2022

2022 Second Quarter Activity Report 
September 21, 2022

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 2022 First Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $228,373. Children’s Services and Ontario Works is forecasted to be on budget. Community Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $357,994. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $190,626. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $61,005 less than budgeted. 

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

Paramedic Services

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

While Paramedic Services weathered much of the “peak” of the COVID-19 pandemic relatively unscathed, the service’s staffing was severely impacted during the second quarter due to several infections among frontline Paramedics. Fortunately, the service’s mandatory vaccination policy permitted those who were infected to return to work sooner which dampened what could have potentially occurred. While COVID-19 infections stabilized by early June, increased absenteeism and departures have contributed to prolonging the staffing crisis. 

Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care (CPLTC)

Our Community Paramedicine (CP) team continues to roster patients and provide vital services to our most vulnerable and marginalized populations. The Team has deployed a Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) program that permits greater agility for planning visits and resource allocation. Currently, the Team has seven (7) patients in our region enrolled and the program is well received both by the patients and Community Paramedics. Our CP team has not been immune to the staffing crisis; however, they have managed to ensure all visits are completed and patients receive the care they need to safely remain in community.

Ministry of Health and Ambulance Service Review

Paramedic Services received their 90-day notice in late March for our Ambulance Service Review (ASR) to be conducted by the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Health Regulatory and Accountability Branch. ASRs occur every three years as required by legislation and assess Paramedic Services’ compliance to Regulatory requirements and to renew their certificate to operate. This review will defer from previous ones as the preliminary review, which is usually completed by the Ministry of Health team on site, will now be completed virtually due to the pandemic.  Paramedic Services submitted their requested documents well in advance of the June 28th, 2022, deadline and now await next steps from the review team.  It is anticipated that at some point during the third quarter, the service will be contacted for a virtual meeting to clarify some items for the team and/or discuss some of their findings.

Paramedic Services Week May 22nd to 28th, 2022

This year’s theme was “the Faces of Paramedicine” which truly encapsulated the transformation and evolution the Paramedic profession has undergone over the last several years. The many faces Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB Paramedics wear in the provision of care is critical to the success of the collective health care mission. Our front line 911 response Paramedics, our Community Paramedics, our COVID-19 Paramedic Response Team and our several committees all play or have played a significant role in the successful delivery of patient care. In addition to our front-line Paramedics, this year’s theme also recognized the many important people who also contribute their support and expertise so that Paramedics may indeed be successful in delivering patient care which included all of our support and administrative staff.  Paramedic Services held open houses at all thirteen (13) locations and allowed community members to tour our stations, sit in one of our twenty-five (25) Ambulances and engage with our dedicated Paramedics.

Spring Recruitment

After a difficult process, Paramedic Services welcomed nine (9) new Paramedic recruits to our team.  While we began the process with forty (40) applicants, the provincial staffing demand quickly drained our pool by half by the time we sent invitations to write the entry examination. The service feels fortunate that we were able to keep nine (9) new recruits however we are still faced with a high rate of absenteeism and unexpected departures to services with higher salaries and have less travel expectations given today’s fuel prices.  The service is in the midst of a developing a long-term recruitment and retention strategy that will see a robust education program to lure local post-secondary entrants into the Paramedic profession.  The goal is to focus on attracting local aspiring Paramedics with roots in our region rather than rely on applicants from southern Ontario who tend to be transient employees while waiting for job openings closer to their home.

Central Ambulance Communications Centre Migration

On June 28th, 2022, the Ministry of Health Emergency Health Services migrated all emergency call taking and dispatching of Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB Paramedic Services to the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) located in Sudbury.  Previously, the service’s northern fleet were dispatched by CACC’s in Timmins and/or Sault Ste Marie while all other stations were dispatched by the CACC located in Sudbury. Working with three (3) CACC presented the service with enormous challenges in consistent service delivery and situation awareness. With this migration, the Ministry of Health issued a new number to call for the communities of Foleyet, Gogama, surrounding First Nations and areas. Paramedic Services developed bilingual information bulletins and worked with Canada Post to reasonably ensure every impacted community member was informed.  This was followed by a mass media release issued to all applicable outlets and broad communication to stakeholders and politicians informing all the new number to call.  To date, Paramedic Services have not been made aware of any impacts to service delivery and the migration appears to have transpired seamlessly. 

Children’s Services

In the second quarter, the average enrollment in licensed childcare was 523 children, 400 full fee and 123 subsidized. Compared to last quarter there has been a 1.1% increase, and compared to last year at this time, enrollment has increased by 1.4%. 

The number of total visits made by parents/caregivers and children to EarlyON Child & Family Centres was 2309, and the total activity kits provided was 424. Compared to last quarter the number of visits increased by 2.5%, and activity kits provided decreased by 2%.   Compared to last year at this time, number of visits increased by 3%, and activity kits provided decreased by 2.9%.                             

Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System (CWELCC)

The Government of Canada has identified childcare as a national priority to enhance early learning and childhood development, support workforce participation and contribute to economic recovery.  

The new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System will lower fees for parents and provide more accessible and high-quality childcare for Ontario families. The system focuses on affordability, access, quality, and inclusion.

Staff received an Addendum to the Ontario Child Care and EarlyON Child and Family Centres Service Management and Guideline (2022) in April.

A graduated approach to fee reductions will occur as follows:

  • A fee reduction of up to 25% (to a minimum of $12 per day) for eligible children retroactive to April 1, 2022.
  • A 50% daily fee reduction on average for eligible children by the end of calendar year 2022.
  • $10 average daily childcare fees for eligible children September 2025. 

Parental contributions will be reduced by 25% for eligible children receiving fee subsidy who hold a spot with a licensed program that has enrolled in the CWELCC system. 

Workforce compensation funding is available to eligible staff employed by Service Providers regardless of the age of the children they are supporting.  

Staff in our district are paid above the wage floor and are not eligible at this time, this will be reviewed annually.

Ontario Works
In the second quarter of 2022, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care Caseload average was 512. Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has increased by 6.22%.

In March of 2020, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) implemented several temporary measures as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic including: 

  • Reducing the need for in-person contact by authorizing risk-based approaches to eligibility determination and other verification requirements, including deferral of visual verification requirements of original documents. 
  • Helping to reduce the burden on program staff by modifying certain program requirements – including no longer suspending clients who do not report income and suspending Eligibility Verification Process reviews – to enable deployment of resources to priority activities. 
  • Helping to reduce the burden on the healthcare system by enabling program staff to approve extensions to Special Diet Allowance, Mandatory Special Necessities benefits, and medical transportation/supplies without endorsement from a health professional. 
  • Suspending the rule that limits emergency assistance provision to only once in a six-month period for individuals and families affected by COVID-19. 
  • Allowing people to receive emergency assistance for longer (48 days) without submitting a full Ontario Works application. 
  • A new one-time Emergency Benefit was created for both Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program to help with costs for personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, additional costs for food or other essential supplies, etc. 

The Ministry announced in April 2022 that the province would begin to lift some of the temporary social assistance delivery measures that were put in place during the pandemic. 

The following measures have improved client services and will become a part of regular business processes moving forward.

  • Permitting legal clinics to sign/submit internal review requests and consent forms on behalf of clients.
  • Providing Disability Determination Packages directly to Health Care Practitioners.
  • Ending faxing with Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for verification of Immigration Category and Status, as an automated process is being implemented.

The following business processes were set to resume effective May 1st, 2022

  • Healthcare Professional Verification of new health benefits such as the Special Diet Allowance (SDA) and Mandatory Specific Necessities (MSN)
  • Ontario Works 24-month financial reviews
  • Eligibility Verification Process (EVP) Audits
  • Complaint Assessments (Ontario Disability Support Program) and Eligibility Reviews (Ontario Works)
  • Timelines for Disability Determination Packages and Medical Reviews
  • Ontario Application for Social Assistance (OASA) appointment scheduler will be available for use in the Social Assistance Management System

The Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards Emergency Order, which had been in place since April 16th, 2020, and provided flexibility to effectively respond to the pressures of COVID-19 by deploying staff to the most high-need areas throughout provided services and service areas, expired on April 27, 2022. 

The extension of Additional Benefits and Special Diet Allowances will be ending in a staggered approach over a 3-month period to reduce workload efforts for staff.

In April 2022, as a response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. The government amended O. Reg 134/98 under the Ontario Works Act, 1997 to allow Ukrainian migrants with documentation confirming they are in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) to apply for Emergency Assistance.

In the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB, 6.5% of all social assistance applications for the second quarter were Emergency Assistance of those applications 25% were Ukrainian migrants under CUAET.

Employment Ontario

The launch of phase 3 of the Better Jobs Ontario Redesign (formerly Second Career) became effective April 29, 2022. 

The key change of phase 3 is the expansion of eligibility to make the program more accessible to those who face barriers in attempting to enter or re-enter the labour market. 

Better Jobs Ontario provides eligible applicants with support to participate in a training program up to 52 weeks in length and financial support up to $28,000 for costs associated with training such as tuition, books, transportation, childcare, and basic living allowance. 

A fast-track option is also available for individuals who were laid-off due to COVID-19.

Community Housing

Total applications at end of quarter 2 is 671. The applicant breakdown is as follows:  
1 Bedroom      522            2 Bedroom        70
3 Bedroom      47              4 bedroom        32

Direct Shelter Subsidy (DSS)

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 214 active DSS recipients which represents a decrease of 2% from last quarter and from last year at this time.

Income Mixing

Per DSB Policy, every effort is being made where the waitlist allows, to mix the Community Housing Buildings with RGI, Affordable and Market Rent Tenants. As of the end of this quarter we have successfully secured 11 market rent tenants, representing 4% of the portfolio and 92 affordable rent tenants representing 33.45% of the portfolio, since last quarter market rent tenants have increased by .36% and affordable rent tenants by 4.36%.  Since last year at this time, market rent tenants have not increased, however, affordable rent tenants have increased by 8.72%.

Smoke Free Housing – Unit Count-down

As of the end of the second quarter of 2022, 187/275 of the portfolio’s units are designated as Smoke-free.  This represents 68% of the full portfolio currently. Units are designated as turn-over occurs.

Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) Phase 5 

SSRF Phase 5 was announced in April 2022, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB will receive $500,000 in SSRF Phase 5 funding.  An investment plan was submitted in April 2022 to use SSRF Phase 5 to support the new senior’s housing build in Little Current.

Building material price escalations have resulted in a significant increase in the cost per sq/ft for the building.  With the $500,000 of SSRF Phase 5 Capital Funds, our annual municipal deficit would go from $118,353 to $78,801.

By-Name-List (BNL)

At the April 2022 Board meeting, staff advised that in addition to the existing BNL requirements, Service Managers were provided updated guidelines that are to be implemented and reported on effective April 1, 2023. 

Service Managers were required to submit an Implementation Plan to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by July 29, 2022. This Implementation Plan outlined how the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB plans to achieve the new BNL requirements.

There are two changes being made to the original Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB implementation plan:

1.The BNL will be updated monthly as opposed to every ninety days.
2. A new category has been added to the BNL to track if households have transitioned from a provincial institution, for example residential treatment, hospital, or corrections facilities.  

Housing and Homelessness Plan – Year Seven Update

Through the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy (LTAHS) and with the passing of the Housing Services Act (HSA), 2011, the province completed the devolution of Ontario’s affordable housing to municipalities. 

The Province required the development of a 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan to reflect certain principles or ‘interests’ that the government had prescribed in addition to considering and responding to local needs. 

The year seven report highlights how the DSB has been working towards each goal set out in the Housing and Homelessness Plan. 

Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) and HPP Policies

The Homelessness Prevention Program is designed provide the necessary resources to establish a coordinated housing and homelessness system so the people at risk of or experiencing homelessness have the housing and support services that they need to retain and/or obtain stable housing and achieve better outcomes.

As result of this new program the DSB has revoked the Healthy Communities Fund policy and replaced it with 4 new HPP policies.  They include Housing Assistance, Community Outreach and Supportive Services, Emergency Shelter Solutions and Supportive Housing.

Community Housing Program Facilities Management


Housing Buildings have removed their masking mandates and have opened their Common Rooms once again for tenant use.  We will maintain the capacity limits for now.  Activities including Community Paramedicine have resumed on site.

Work Orders

During the quarter (April – June 2022) a total of 263 Work Orders were generated: 215 for Community Housing; 12 for Administration Offices, and 36 for Paramedic Services.  There was a total of 161 Work Orders closed or resolved during that time.  Work orders are closed if the work is done in-house, or when the invoice is paid from an outside source. 

Projects Underway

Little Current Project – New Build

The ground has broken in the Town of North Eastern Manitoulin and the Islands for the new seniors housing building.  As of the last visit to the area, foundation work on both buildings is complete and framing has begun on one of two.  The retaining wall construction has begun and is well underway also.  Next quarter will include photos of the site.

Capital Projects with Housing Services Corporation

Electrical Work is scheduled to start in Little Current and Manitowaning in the coming weeks.  Contractor on record is T & G Electrical.  This work will replace the main switch gears at both buildings.

Also, on the agenda for Little Current, Mindemoya and Manitowaning are balcony repairs and rehabilitation and balcony rail painting in Little Current.  At this time, the railing painting is completed and looks great!  

There are some unexpected delays with the balcony repairs as the contractor (Prosperi) is struggling with the supplier of concrete to begin the job.

At the Warren Community Housing Site, we have awarded a contract to Canor Construction.  This is a large project on the site involving the retaining wall, walkways, curbs, and parking lot.  

The project to remove and replace the sanitary drain lines at our Family Housing Units on Marguerite will commence soon. This large project will re-establish the path of the lines to the Town of Espanola sewers with new piping from units to the main town sewers.  The Contractor is RM Belanger Limited for this work, they are working closely with the Town of Espanola Public Works Department.

Provincial Funding

The fourth year of funding through Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI), and Ontario has begun as of April 1st, 2022.  The Investment Plan for the funding has been submitted to the Ministry and we await approval of our plan. 

New guidelines for Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative & Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative funding program were released by the Ministry in April.  


The DSB had a very busy quarter. If municipal Councils have any questions or would like DSB staff to attend a municipal Council meeting, please feel free to contact me directly. 

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