4th Quarter CAO Activity Report - April 18, 2024

2023 Fourth Quarter Activity Report 
April 18, 2024

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 Fourth Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $557,518. Ontario Works is forecasted to be over budget by $3,980; Children’s Services expenses are forecasted to be on budget. Community Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $354,841. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $585,672. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $795,965 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 October, November and December of 2023.

Paramedic Services

Our open posting for Regular Part-Time Paramedics while not plentiful is proving successful in attracting applicants.  We are hoping to hold a recruitment process in late January with the hopes of onboarding 3 to 4 new Paramedics.  These 3 or 4 potential employees would go a long way in helping ease our critical staffing pressures. On an operational note, due to continued challenges and disruptions with Interdev/ESO, Paramedic Services, and Non-Urgent Patient Transfer Service (NUPTS) have purchased a new software platform that will hopefully improve our staff’s work experience while giving us more agility in our data collecting, housing, and reporting.  Prehos has been working closely with our team to make the transition as seamless as possible.  Installation of key components such as RAM mounts and gateway devices will commence on January 9th for the entire fleet and we anticipate to soft launch of Prehos, while running parallel systems, by mid-February with the official go-live date from ESO to Prehos occurring on February 29th, 2024.

Community Paramedicine

Our Community Paramedic (CP) Program has unfortunately had some unanticipated departures.  We have posted for 2 Full-Time CPs and will be interviewing candidates in the second week of January. The team is managing to balance the workloads and our response time from referral to first visit remains steady at 48 hrs or less.  CP will also be preparing to launch our new EPOC blood analysis system expected to arrive in late January. The EPOC device is a handheld solution that provides “laboratory-accurate” blood gas, electrolyte, and metabolite results at the patient’s side in less than 1 minute.  This important adjunct to our CP’s arsenal will provide important information in real-time to Primary Health Care Providers to help inform care plans all while keeping patients in the comfort of their homes.

Non-Urgent Patient Transportation Service

We have been successful in recruiting a Full-Time Personal Support Worker and adding another 4 Regular Part-Time Patient Transfer Attendants.  We have also received the good news of added base funding by the Ministry of Health which will allow us to lay a solid, long-term foundation for this important service.  This added funding will now permit for scheduling, coordination, and dispatching to be taken “in-house” leveraging our Prehos technologies which should produce efficiency, consistency, and cost savings in our service delivery. 

Integrated Human Services

Children’s Services

In the 4th quarter, the average enrollment in licensed child care was 549 children, 446 full fee, and 103 subsidized. Compared to last quarter there has been a 4% increase and compared to last year at this time, enrollment has decreased by 7%. The waitlist for licensed childcare at the end of the 4th quarter is 537 children. 

The number of total visits to EarlyON Child & Family Centres by parents/caregivers and children was 3264, and the total activity kits provided was 63. Compared to last quarter the number of visits decreased by 25%, due to reduced hours of operation over the holiday break. Compared to last year at this time, the number of visits increased by 37%. 

Child Care Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy – Implementation of Regulatory Changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014                    

Staff were copied on a memo to licensees from the Ministry of Education on November 16, 2023. The memo announced that effective January 1, 2024, all licensed child care programs must have a safe arrival and dismissal policy in place.

Ontario’s Child Care Workforce Strategy                    

A memo was sent to licensees from the Ministry of Education, on November 16th, 2023, regarding Ontario’s Child Care Workforce Strategy.  

The strategy aims to support the recruitment and retention of qualified professionals, help achieve system growth, and ensure increased access to high-quality licensed child care in the province. 

Importance of the Duty to Report Children in Need of Protection            

Staff were copied on a memo to licensees on November 23, 2023, regarding the importance of the duty to report children in need of protection to the Children’s Aid Society. 

2024 Child Care, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and CWELCC Funding

Staff received a memo confirming the funding allocation and guidelines for 2024. The funding approach will continue to remain unchanged from 2023 while the Ministry develops a new Child Care Funding Formula (CCFF), which aims to integrate the current approach for allocating child care funds with the new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program.  

Although the funding approach remains unchanged the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board did experience line by line changes resulting in an overall net reduction in funding of $180,654 from 2023 to 2024, there will not be a notable change to service delivery because of these changes.

Implementation of Regulatory changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014

In a memo dated December 11, 2023, to support Ontario’s Child Care Workforce strategy, regulatory changes were made to O. Reg 137/15 under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) which are intended to support licensees in recruiting and retaining staff. 

Ontario Works

In the fourth quarter of 2023, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care Caseload average was 458. Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decreased by 5.95%.

Centralized Intake 

149 applications were received by the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) in the fourth quarter of 2023. Of the 149 applications received, 48 were granted by the Intake and Benefits Administration Unit (IBAU), 56 were referred by the IBAU to the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB for processing, and 13 were transfers from another Ontario Works (OW) office. The remaining 31 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 fourth quarter of 2023, 38% of applications were completed by the IBAU.   

Proposed Ontario Works Regulation Changes

On October 25, 2023, a memo and a question and answer document was shared with Ontario Works Administrators, Municipalities and DSSAB’s outlining the steps the government is taking to expand its role in Centralized Intake for Ontario Works.

Employment Services Transformation Update

On December 13, 2023, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development shared a memo regarding updates relating to Employment Services Transformation.  

Employment Services Transformation is a three phased approach. Phase one was implemented as of October 1, 2023, phase two was implemented as of January 2024.  Phase three will impact the Northeast, Northwest and Toronto and is currently in the final stages of completing the two-stage competitive process to choose the successful Service System Manager.  The successful candidates for phase three will be announced in early 2024.  

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 4th quarter there were 12 new registrations for Employment Services and 5 files were closed including 3 for employment. There was 1 added registration for the YJC program. Nineteen students registered for the Youth Job Connection Summer program this year and 2 students were carried over from last year. Employment services assisted 228 individuals and 2 employers during the 4th quarter.

Quality Assurance

The Quality Assurance (QA) Coordinator working primarily with the Child Care and Ontario Works programs visited Child Care Centres, Early Years programs, and Integrated Human Services offices throughout the district with the goal to build relationships, share program information, and support front line staff. 

During the fourth quarter, the QA Coordinator supported the planning and facilitation of the final 3 strategic planning sessions for the Manitoulin-Sudbury Network for Children and Families. The in-person meeting portion of Strategic Planning process is now complete, and a finalized strategic plan is slated to be released in February 2024. 

In October of 2023 the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB, with the support of the QA coordinator and a team of colleagues from early years community partner agencies, hosted a Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation and Professional Development event in Espanola. Over 125 individuals working in the district’s child care and early years programs attended this event. Planning has already begun for the 2024 event.

In collaboration with College Boreal, the QA Coordinator supported the district in participating in an Early Learning Pedagogical Study Group, 11 individuals including pedagogical leads, ECE’s, and home child care supervisors registered for the sessions which are scheduled to begin in January of 2024.

Finally, the QA coordinator connected with the Northern Program Quality Coordinators from the City of Greater Sudbury to plan and host a collaborative meeting between all pedagogical leads for both districts where information and best practices were shared. The QA invited an Indigenous Support Worker with the Catholic District School Board, who shared a history of our land, the peoples, and how educators can implement truth and reconciliation into their everyday practices. 

During this last quarter, the QA Coordinator supporting Housing and Homelessness has been working with community partners to review and make recommendations to improve the release process within the justice systems. 

The QA Coordinator has continued to support local foodbanks and has been able to visit all locations to date. The QA Coordinator is analyzing foodbank usage, funding across the district, and working collaboratively with the foodbanks to design an equitable program that meets the needs of the foodbanks across the district. 

Staff continue to build partnerships throughout the communities we serve and are presenting information regarding the By Name List and seeking participation from our community partners. 

The QA Coordinator has partnered with the Royal Canadian Legion to promote the Operation Leave the Streets Behind Program for Homeless Veterans Assistance. 

The QA Coordinator is reviewing internal application processes to ensure processes are efficient, while capturing the data needed to support planning across the district. The QA Coordinator has organized and facilitated tenant meetings within our housing buildings to ensure the reasonable enjoyment of all tenants is being met. 

Community Housing

There were 522 applications at the end of the 4th quarter. The applicant breakdown is as follows:  
1 Bedroom      371           2 Bedroom        64
3 Bedroom      52             4 bedroom        35

Staff continue to identify and complete the application process with eligible applicants for the Direct Shelter Subsidy (DSS) program. All applicants receiving the benefit are deemed housed. As of the end of this quarter there were 203 active DSS recipients. At the end of Q3 of this year there were 212 recipients and at this time last year there were 220.

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 23 market rent tenants and 122 affordable rent tenants. This represents 8% and 41% of our portfolio. This represents an increase of 8 market rent tenant and 4 affordable from last quarter. Last year at this time we had 10 market rent tenants (3.6%) and 79 affordable (28%)  

As of the end of the 4th quarter of 2023, 229/295 of the portfolio’s units are designated as Smoke-free.  This represents 77% of the full portfolio currently. Units are designated as turnover occurs.

National Housing Accord

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) and the Smart Property Institute have partnered to create the National Housing Accord: A Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis. 

The National Housing Accord has outlined plan to restore affordability, protect Canada’s most vulnerable and build at least two million new affordable and market rental units by 2030.

The National Housing Accord has outlined 10 recommendations to address housing affordability, meet the needs of the increasing population, create jobs, and play a critical role in ending homelessness.

Canadian Mental Health Association Housing Case Management Year End Report

Staff presented the CMHA Year End Report to the board in October 2023.  CMHA reported that 2022-2023 was an exciting year of change, with the resumption of many much-needed services while remaining cautious due to the continued Covid-19 pandemic.  

All common rooms were able to reopen with social-distancing and other infection prevention and control processes in place.   The tenants enjoyed various social gatherings and information sessions throughout the year.

Food insecurity continued to be a major challenge for many tenants and has only increased over the past year due to rising food costs.  

During the year the Housing Case Managers provided support in the following areas:

  • 6 Hoarding 
  • 47 Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (cleaning, laundry, meal prep and planning, groceries and shopping, budget and financial concerns, communication skills and medication assistance)
  • 17 Mental health 
  • 5 Substance use 
  • 7 Other health issues 
  • 4 Legal concerns 
  • 1 Vocational 
  • 11 Annual paperwork 
  • 5 Neighbour conflict 
  • 9 Social connections 
  • 4 Eviction notices 

Positive Outcomes from the Housing Case Management program include, 33 individuals were supported, 93% of the “at risk” tenancies, who accepted services, were preserved, or are working towards a resolution, and 757 brief services were offered. 

Quarterly meetings continue between the Coordinator, Housing Case Management, and Housing Case Managers to collect statistics and ensure accurate, consistent collection, reflect on trends, and document quarterly summaries.    

Capital Projects 

The Mindemoya balcony replacement project was finalized at the end of November. 
Make Up Air Unit replacements began in Manitowaning, Gore Bay, & Little Current, with a break over the holidays all units are scheduled for completion in early Spring.
Four new windows were installed at the Gore Bay Base, supporting the need for emergency exit points as the previous windows did not open. The Espanola Base is next on the list to replace all windows. 

Work Orders

During the 4th quarter, a total of 304 Work Orders were generated: 245 for Community Housing; 13 for Administration Offices, and 46 for Paramedic Services.  There was a total of 165 Work Orders closed or resolved during that time.  There were 10 work orders for unit turnovers: 2 family units and 8 for apartments. Work orders are closed if the work is done in-house, or when the invoice is paid from an outside source.

New Acquisition

On December 1st, 2023, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB officially acquired 33 - 35 Draper Street in Little Current, which has 8 2-bedroom units.  Staff met with tenants upon acquisition to ensure a smooth transition.

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