3rd Quarter CAO Activity Report - November 16, 2023

The following is the most recent consolidated Quarterly Report that the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (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 2023 Third Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $490,276. Ontario Works is forecasted to be over budget by $3,084; Children’s Services expenses are forecasted to be on budget. Community Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $333,969. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $458,268. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $622,506 more than budgeted. 

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

The following provides some insight into the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board Programs during the months of July, August, and September of 2023.

Paramedic Services

Human Resources

Staffing continues to be a challenge however we have been successful in recruiting 3 Part-Time Paramedics. 


We have received notice from our Ambulance vendor that our 2022 order will only be delivered in August of 2024 meaning that our aging fleet will be under significant pressure as mileage rises on older vehicles accompanied by maintenance costs.  Staff are considering long-term strategies on how best to manage this supply chain issue to ensure effective service continuity while being fiscally responsible. 
Community Paramedicine (CP)

Our Community Paramedic Program now with stabilized staffing are ramping up for this upcoming fall Influenza and COVID-19 immunization campaigns.  Our team has also participated in several training initiatives to further enhance knowledge and skills in dealing with our most vulnerable populations.  CP has also played an integral role in the deployment of our active recruitment campaign by attending several job fairs and school presentations.
Non-Urgent Patient Transportation Services

Staff are currently in the process of issuing a second posting for Patient Transfer Attendant/Personal Support Worker to fill one available Full-Time position and up to four Regular Part-Time positions.  Recruiting for these positions has proven more challenging than anticipated given the current economic climate and perceived available workforce.  We have regrouped and will re-issue the posting with revised language and cast a bigger net in the hopes to attract more suitable applicants.

Integrated Human Services

Children’s Services

In the 3rd quarter, the average enrollment in licensed child care was 592 children, 488 full fee and 104 subsidized. Compared to last quarter there has been a 7% increase and compared to last year at this time, enrollment has increased by 5%. 

The waitlist for licensed childcare at the end of the 3rd quarter is 534 children. The highest waitlist are ages 0-5 years. 

The number of total visits to EarlyON Child & Family Centres by parents/caregivers and children was 2606, and the total activity kits provided was 26. Compared to last quarter the number of visits decreased by 14%, activity kits provided decreased by 19%, attendance is traditionally lower during the summer months. Compared to last year at this time, number of visits increased by 30%, and activity kits provided decreased by 55%. 

Launch of Capital Priorities Projects 2023/24

On August 14th, 2023, staff received a memo from the Ministry of Education regarding the launch of the 2023-24 Capital Priorities Program.  This program allows school boards to request Child Care Capital funding for projects associated with a larger Capital Priorities project within the school. Funding announcements will be made in Winter 2024. 

Approved Child Care Capital Priorities Projects – Little Current

In 2017-18 the Rainbow District School Board received approval for a child care capital project to support 10 infant spaces at Little Current Public School.  Due to high student enrolment and the subsequent pandemic, the project did not proceed as originally scheduled.  On August 23, 2023 staff received confirmation that this project is now moving forward. These new spaces will help support waitlist pressures and align with our space creation targets and Directed Growth Plans. 

Revised Licensing Approach for Home Child Care

On September 7th, 2023 a memo from the Ministry of Education provided details about a revised licensing approach for home child care in the coming months.  Under the new approach, the Ministry will be setting out on all licenses a unique capacity by service system manger for each service area where the agency oversees child care. This change supports improved data collection and leads to a more accurate understanding of where home child care premises are in the province. 

Revised Directed Growth Plan

Further to the Access and Inclusion Space Target Issue Report approved by the board in February of this year, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB continues to increase access to more affordable, inclusive, and high-quality early learning child care for families in the district.

With the combination of naturally occurring growth in schools and the opening of licensed home child care, we have surpassed our 2023 space creation target of 36 spaces.
From January – June 2023, 52 new spaces have opened. An additional 29 spaces opened in September with an estimate of 6 additional spaces before year end. This will bring the total number of spaces created in 2023 to 87. We have not requested additional spaces, however reallocated spaces from future years.

School based spaces have opened in Espanola and Mindemoya. Our Children Our Future has opened 24 preschool spaces at their Sacred Heart site in Espanola. Manitoulin Family Resources has opened 10 toddler spaces at Central Manitoulin Public School in Mindemoya. There will be 10 Infant Spaces opening at Little Current Public School with an estimated opening date of January 2024. This project is under the approved childcare capital priorities project mentioned in this report.

The Chapleau Child Care Centre has opened an additional 5 toddler spaces at their community location in Chapleau. West Nipissing Childcare Corporation has opened an additional 12 home child care spaces in St Charles and Noëlville and Manitoulin Family Resources has opening 30 new home child care spaces in Gore Bay, Manitowaning, Espanola and Mindemoya. We anticipate that our plans will continue to shift over time in response to ever-changing community and economic needs. 

Ontario Works

In the 3rd quarter, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care Caseload average was 457. Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decreased by 6.5%.

Centralized Intake 

111 applications were received by the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB in the 3rd quarter. Of the 111 applications received, 40 were granted by the Intake and Benefits Administration Unit (IBAU), 27 were referred by the IBAU to the DSB for processing, and 23 were transfers from another Ontario Works (OW) office. The remaining 21 applications were processed at the local office rather than being referred to Centralized Intake as certain applications, such as Emergency Assistance, are not yet being processed by the IBAU, or there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the application 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 3rd quarter, 36% of applications were completed by the IBAU.  
Centralized Intake: Expanding the Province’s Role

On August 31, 2023, MCCSS shared a memo outlining the steps that the province will be taking to expand the provincial role in centralized intake for Ontario Works.  

Since centralized intake began, the province has been supporting municipalities by reviewing and assessing Ontario Works applications. The formal authority for making eligibility decisions, however, remained with the municipalities and DSSAB’s. The province has expanded its role after proclaiming legislative amendments, which allows the ministry to be designated in regulation as an Ontario Works delivery agent.  With these amendments, the ministry has authorization to make eligibility decisions and further reduce the administrative burden for municipalities.  

The ministry will work with three sites- the District Municipality of Muskoka, City of Peterborough, and the Regional Municipality of York and will begin taking on formal decision-making authority. The ministry will also work with these partners to expand the scope of applications it currently reviews and further streamline the intake process.

Employment Ontario

The Employment Services (ES), Youth Job Connect (YJC) and Youth Job Connect Summer (YJCS) programs continue to be advertised and delivered from the Chapleau office. During the 3rd quarter there were eight new registrations for Employment Services and 14 files were closed for several reasons including 12 for employment. There were no new registrations for the YJC program. Training for YJCS was completed in July and August and there were seven students who registered and attended the training. Three of the seven registrants have been placed with employers and two are currently waiting for start dates. During the 3rd quarter 296 individuals and 17 employers were assisted by Employment Services.

Quality Assurance

It has been a busy quarter for the Quality Assurance Coordinators. The coordinators continue to identify training gaps, seek out appropriate training, provide a leadership and supportive role with staff and community partners. 

Visits were conducted at every child care site in the district with a focus on building relationships with educators, pedagogical leads, and supervisors.  The QA coordinator supported the planning and development of Strategic Planning for the Manitoulin Sudbury Network for Children and Families and coordinated Integrated Human Services staff development with a focus on wellbeing and Indigenous Culture teachings.  In the coming months Integrated Human Services staff will be provided with additional support as they relate to Empathic Strain and Trauma Informed Care.  Onboarding packages are being developed for new Integrated Human Services Staff.

In September, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB hired a Housing and Homelessness Program Quality Assurance Coordinator. This role will support consistency in our Homelessness programs including, but limited to, the By-Name-List, Change Team, Community Food Banks, and outreach efforts. 

The additional staff support will ensure a dedicated focus on the homeless population and address the needs and barriers these households face daily such as transportation and food security. 

Community Housing

Waiting list (Applicants)

There were 891 applications at the end of the 3rd quarter. The applicant breakdown is as follows:  

1 Bedroom   691            

2 Bedroom   92

3 Bedroom   64             

4 bedroom    44

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 212 active DSS recipients. At the end of Q2 of this year there were 199 recipients and at this time last year there were 201.

Income Mixing

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 the end of this quarter we have successfully secured 15 market rent tenants and 118 affordable rent tenants. This represents 5% and 41% of our portfolio. This represents an increase of 2 market rent tenant and 7 affordable from last quarter. Last year at this time we had 11 market rent tenants (4%) and 94 affordable (32%).
Smoke Free Housing – Unit Count-down

As of the end of the 3rd quarter of 2023, 212/287 of the portfolio’s units are designated as Smoke-free.  This represents 74% of the full portfolio currently. Units are designated as turnover occurs.

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB)

To address rapid increases in rent across the province, the Ministry has updated the COHB monthly payment calculation effective July 1, 2023, to increase benefit amounts for many households. The update to the COHB calculation considers the actual shelter costs (rent and utilities) paid by participants.

During the quarter, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB successfully assisted 11 households to apply for COHB and/or First and Last months’ rent. This brings our total households assisted with this benefit to 63. At the end of this quarter, we have fully utilized our $93,600 allocation for the 2023-2024 year.  

Fielding Place    

Fielding Place, our new build in Little Current, held a Grand Opening on August 30th with attendees from all levels of Government in attendance.  Although chilly, the sun shone brightly and so did the property!  The building began housing new residents using a staged approach on September 1st with 1 unit per pod moving in each week in September.  The building now boasts full occupancy.    
Capital Projects with Housing Services Corporation


Work continues in Mindemoya with the balcony replacement project at 29 Nixon.  This project was awarded to Barné Builders and is scheduled to be finalized by the end of October 2023 or early November (weather contingent).  This unexpected change to the work scope has affected 4 units of the building since the Spring.  We are happy to see that this will be completed before winter and that those residents affected will have things safe and back to normal soon.


The Massey Paramedic Services Base had some additional repairs made to the HVAC system before fall to support the newly installed furnace and heat pump.  This base is now fully operational with the new systems installed for Radon Mitigation as well as Heating and Cooling.

The Espanola Paramedic Base has been undergoing a generator upgrade on the site which includes a natural gas installation.  This additional upgrade to the property will assist with other future equipment replacements as they are coming to the end of life allowing for the purchase and installation of more economical gas-powered units.

Second Avenue Administration Office has recently undergone a landscaping change with the removal of the wooden lean-to located in the back parking lot.  Working with the Town of Espanola, the structure was under order to be demolished and a new section of fencing was erected.  This has made a substantial improvement to not only the esthetics of the site but has increased the working area of the property.  Plans to erect a new storage shed and relocate the current one on site will be completed before winter.

Work Orders

During the 3rd quarter a total of 269 Work Orders were generated: 206 for Community Housing; 23 for Administration Offices, and 40 for Paramedic Services.  There was a total of 162 Work Orders closed or resolved during that time.  There were 16 work orders for unit turnovers: 5 family unit and 11 for apartments. Work orders are closed if the work is done in-house, or when the invoice is paid from an outside source.  Many of our buildings are laden with multiple back-to-back unit turnovers, however cross coverage has been assisting with these.


As many of our projects are wrapping up for the season, we have begun to procure reports that will support the 2024 season.  Designated substance surveys to determine any hazardous materials within the buildings are being done in Espanola, and Gogama, as well as mechanical requirements for Make Up Air replacements in Espanola, Little Current, Manitowaning and HVAC systems in our 2 Espanola Administration buildings.  

All locations have also secured winter contracts for snow removal with many holding pricing from last year for us.  This is a much-needed break with ever-increasing costs for fuel, supply and labour making many projects more costly than anticipated.  The team are working diligently to secure cost-effective measures for supplies and services to keep things moving.

Lastly, the Mead Office generator has suffered a failure following several service calls on the unit.  The unit was inspected and was determined to need a replacement radiator.  The unit is scheduled to be back up and running by the end of October and the rental removed once this occurs.  Plans for replacement of the equipment in the future have been undertaken to ensure that there is a contingency fund available.

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