1st Quarter CAO Activity Report - May 27, 2021

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 2021 First Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $240,382. Children’s Services is forecasted to be on budget. This surplus includes Ontario Works forecasted to be on budget. Community Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $251,858. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $21,178. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $9,702 more than budgeted.  

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

Paramedic Services

Pandemic Response 

Paramedics continue to play an integral role in all things COVID-19 across our service area. A redesign of team deployment was visited and operationalized based on current state and forecasted activities. Paramedics continue to conduct mobile and in-home COVID-19 testing and continue to support the Manitoulin Health Centre’s weekly Assessment Centres.

Leveraging the current COVID-19 Paramedic Response Team (CPRT), Paramedic Services have played an important role in the roll out of vaccines across our region. In very short order, Paramedic received important trainings from the Federal Government and Public Health Sudbury & Districts to be able to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as be able to input data into the provincial COVID-19 vaccination database.

Defibrillator/Cardiac Monitor RFP – Stryker

Paramedic Services joined forces with the Nipissing and Temiskaming DSSABs to collaborate on a group Request for Proposal (RFP) for Defibrillator/Cardiac Monitors purchase. The current assets were end of life, so this opportunity arose at a very opportune time. The group with representatives from all 3 services met on several occasions to lay out the requirements for each individual service and how best to collate those needs into one proposal. Three proponents submitted quotes and after close analysis and evaluations, Stryker LifePak 15 was selected unanimously by all 3 service operators. Selecting this proponent realized a significant savings for Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB over the term of the amortization as opposed to staying with our legacy vendor.

PeerConnect Smart Device Application

The Ministry of Health in partnership with the Ministry of the Solicitor General has offered an opportunity to participate in a one-year pilot of a Peer Support smart device application called PeerConnect. The pilot involves having customized access to the PeerConnect app and supports such as wellness tools, self-assessments, mental health programming, and other resources to enhance our existing peer support program currently in place while also allowing for easier access to our peer supporters. One of the added benefits of this app is the opportunity to offer support to family members of our employees. This tool is an Ontario-based solution that is already in use among several Paramedic Services and first responder agencies in Ontario and across North America. There is no cost to participate in this project for the first year, and new users will have up to March 31, 2022 to use the app at no additional cost.

Community Paramedicine Long-Term Care (CPLTC)

One of the important elements to the success of the program was to have a Supervisor of Community Program in place to move this project forward as planned and on March 24, Francois Seguin assumed that role.

Additionally, a request was put in to adjust the submitted budget for the last fiscal quarter of the CPLTC program to redirect funds towards required expenditures to get the team up and running. The major one-time expenditures were for 3 dedicated Community Paramedicine vehicles and 3 Stryker Defibrillators. This request was ultimately approved by the Ministry of Long-Term Care and those purchases were completed prior to the March 31, 2021 fiscal budget year end. The implementation plan is on target and the program is prepared to commence referral intake as of April 1, 2021. 

Children’s Services

Emergency Child Care 

On January 8th staff received a memo from the Ministry of Education (MEDU) confirming that child care programs would remain closed for before and after school programming until schools reopen to in person learning and that EarlyON Child and Family Centres would remain closed to in person programming. Child Care programs resumed regular operation once elementary schools returned to in-person learning on January 11, 2021 in the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board area.  EarlyON Child and Family Centres continue to operate virtually.

Eligibility for Emergency Child Care  

MEDU released a memo indicating that effective January 27, 2021, eligibility for the targeted emergency child care program was expanded to include additional eligible workers, although children returned to in person learning in the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB area, this list would be applicable should a return to remote learning be required. 

Updated Health and Safety Guidance  

On February 3, 2021 MEDU shared via memo updated health and safety guidance,  including masking requirements for Grades 1-3 and outdoors where distancing cannot be maintained, enhanced screening protocols were also introduced.   

Provincial Reinvestment Funding

On February 2, 2021 MEDU issued a memo recognizing the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, families, and the child care and early years sector.

As a result of the provincial reconciliation process for child care funding, a total of $66M is being reallocated to CMSMs and DSSABs for the period of January to March 2021. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB underspending is estimated at $2,173,931; our share of the reinvestment is $335,788. The underspending is a result of MEDU requirements to use federal supports in advance of provincial supports. The reinvestment funding is being provided to support increased costs of operating childcare and EarlyON child and family centres during the Covid-19 outbreak. Consistent with the approach and parameters for Federal Safe Restart Funding, CMSMs and DSSABs will have the flexibility to determine how to best use this funding to help the sector to address the unique needs of the local communities.

Regulatory Amendments under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 

Staff received a memo from MEDU on February 26, 2021 providing an update regarding the regulatory amendments proposed in the summer of 2020. The government decided to wait and consider implementation of some of the proposed regulatory amendments and proceeded with the following amendments effective March 8, 2021:

  • Staff in childcare centers who are required to obtain their first aid and CPR certification now have three months to obtain their certification, provided there is at least one trained staff available to respond to an emergency
  • Duplication of policy requirements has been removed for example sanitary practices as these items are addressed by public health.
  • All records and documents are permitted to be in a digital format (unless otherwise specified) and must be always available for inspection.
  • Active duty first responders, professionals governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Social Work and Social Service Act will be exempted from the requirement to provide an attestation or offence declaration when attending a licensed childcare premise to provide services such as consultations or the delivery of presentations to children.
  • Duplicate requirements related to emergency contact information have been streamlined.
  • Licensees are no longer required to have a physical landline
  • Licensees are permitted to administer certain over-the-counter products to children with a single “blanket” authorization to do so.
  • Several Health and Safety amendments were made regarding storage spaces for hazardous substances, pet inoculation, immunization of students and volunteers and daily attendance records.
  • Changes specific to Home Child Care include: the requirement of staff and providers to carry out any direction of a medical officer of health regarding the wellbeing of a child receiving care, children are not permitted to be on a balcony unless an adult is also present, home childcare agencies are required to update registers within one business day, this allows travel time for the home visitor.
Phase Two: Covid-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan

A memo received from Minister Lecce on March 5, 2021 shared the government’s announcement that the province is moving forward with Phase Two of the vaccination distribution plan which includes education and child care workers. Phase Two is expected to begin in April and be completed by the end of July.  Vaccine prioritization for education and child care will commence with education and child care sector workers who work directly with children in both schools and licensed child care settings.

Children’s Services Policy Revisions

Staff have completed a comprehensive review of the Children’s Services Policies, several changes have been made to reflect changes to the legislation, current practice, and language.

Ontario Works

Ontario Works Caseload 

In the first quarter of 2021, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care caseload average was 501.  Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decreased by 6%. 

Social Assistance Vision

On February 11, 2021, Minister Smith announced Ontario’s New Vision for Social Assistance.

The new vision for social assistance aims to create an efficient, effective, and streamlined social services system that focuses on people by connecting them with a range of local services and supports that respond to their unique needs and address barriers.

This plan is ambitious and requires significant consideration of how the Province and the Municipalities can realign roles and responsibilities to best support clients. It will also involve legislative and regulatory changes to enable greater flexibility in decision making and service delivery, as well as a new approach to funding.

For this plan to be successful, municipalities and District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) will be true partners with the province in its design and implementation. While this plan identifies a path forward, it is the start of collaboration.

A road map of the working vision for social assistance was created to support discussion with partners to engage with them on these changes.  The Province is looking at a multi-phased in approach over the course of the next 4 years. 

Employment Ontario - Employment Services Transformation

On January 28, 2021, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) announced that Ontario has reached another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of employment services. 

Effective January 1, 2021, service system managers (SSM) are responsible for employment services for Ontario Works (OW) recipients. SSMs are also responsible for the planning, design and delivery of Employment Ontario and Ontario Disability Support Program employment services within the identified catchment area.  

Outside of the prototype regions, the MLTSD will continue to work with service delivery partners across the province to plan and deliver stronger, locally focused employment and social assistance services that help more people find and keep jobs. 

Community Housing

Waiting list (Applicants) 

On March 31, 2021, the number of waiting applicants decreased by 7.8%.  The applicant breakdown is as follows:  Total applications to end of quarter is 475. 

  • 1 Bedroom     369 (-41)               
  • 2 Bedroom     50 (+2)
  • 3 Bedroom     31 (-4)                 
  • 4 bedroom     25 (+4)
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 226 active DSS recipients.  

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 and 65 affordable rent tenants. 

Smoke Free Housing – Unit Count-down

As of the end of the 1st quarter of 2021, 175/275 of the portfolio’s units are designated as Smoke-free which represents 64% of the full portfolio.

Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) Phase 3

On March 10, 2021 the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB board chair received important details regarding additional provincial funding being offered to us through the third phase of Ontario’s Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF). The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB has received an additional $1,006,274 in provincial funding through a third phase of Ontario’s SSRF.

The funding to Service Managers is intended to maintain, monitor and improve infection prevention and control measures while there is community transmission and risk of transmission in congregate care settings such as emergency shelters; and ensure stability in the homelessness sector by continuing current services and supports that address the negative impact of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable households and more generally on Ontario’s economic recovery (e.g., impact of sustained reductions in or loss of income on housing stability and the need for rent supplements or support with rent arrears to avoid eviction). 

Homelessness Enumeration 

In March 2020, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) communicated to Service Managers and sector organizations its intention to introduce By-Name Lists across Ontario in 2021. Over the past months, MMAH has engaged with a select group of Service Managers and experts to inform Ontario’s By-Name List approach and homeless enumeration in 2021.

In February 2021, MMAH provided Service Managers a letter and Ministerial Directive regarding next steps for the implementation of By-Name Lists and enumeration by Service Managers in 2021.

On March 19, 2021, MMAH provided Service Managers with guidelines giving details on the requirements and standards for developing and maintaining a By-Name List and for conducting local homeless enumeration. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB is exploring the option to complete this work jointly with the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA).  

Mental Health and Addictions Funding

On January 8, 2021, the CAO received a letter from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing advising that our additional funding request of $280,000 for Mental Health Supports was approved. This funding would be used to hire additional staff to support individuals in transitional housing.

The transitional housing with support services includes Mental Health and Addictions supports. Operating funding would be required for 4 full-time staff persons help support the most vulnerable. This funding will help address the need for mental health and addictions services by people experiencing or at risk of homelessness during COVID-19, many of whom have been living with a pre-existing mental illness. On February 3, 2021 the DSB received a letter advising the approval of this investment plan. 

On January 13, 2021, the Board chair received a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing providing support for those living with mental health and/or addictions issues. Ontario’s Ministry of Health has provided $10 million in one-time mental health and addictions funding for 2020-21 to be allocated to select Service Managers. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB was approved for an additional $224,947 to support those living with mental health and/or addictions issues.

The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB identified a need for Mental Health supports for residents residing in DSB Community Housing properties and/or receiving Rent Supplements in the Sudbury East and Sudbury North areas. As a result of this, an already existing partnership with CMHA will expand to address the need. The intent and purpose for the Housing Case Manager to meet community housing tenants to provide short term supports and housing stabilization through linking individuals to community resources. The program will aim to prevent, address and reduce homelessness by improving access to adequate suitable, affordable housing that is linked to support services based on individual needs. Individuals would receive assistance to enhance daily living skills, maintain their wellness and living environments to reduce crisis, hospitalizations, and homelessness. On February 5, 2021 the DSB received a letter advising the approval of this investment plan.   

Infrastructure and Asset Management

Work Orders 

During the quarter (January – March 2021) a total of 200 Work Orders were generated: 145 for Community Housing; 11 for Administration Offices, and 44 for Paramedic Services. There was a total of 129 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 if from an outside source.

Little Current Project – New Build 

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the proponent selection for a Feasibility Study for this Project was issued and Closed during the quarter.

The project is expected to be done in 2 Phases, with the second phase proceeding upon satisfactory budget and the ability to remain within the intended site.

Massey Paramedic Base – Radon Mitigation System

The Paramedic Base in Massey was identified as having low level radon present following a study undertaken by Pinchin. Following this a plan to remediate the issue was undertaken and in March 2021 the system was installed and put on line in the Base Garage. The system is designed to remove any radon gas in the area and exhaust it from the building. 

Capital Projects with Housing Services Corporation 

Work is underway for the projects identified in the Capital Plan. To date, there have been 3 projects that have gone out for Quote Requests and during the quarter the consultants have provided 2 reports for the Sudbury East Area. Also awarded during the quarter is the contract for the Thermal Scans to review the Community Housing Buildings Electrical Systems.


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.

Fern Dominelli
Chief Administrative Officer
Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board
Phone: 705-222-7777
E mail: fern.dominelli@msdsb.net
Website: www.msdsb.net