2020 1st Quarter Activity Report - May 28, 2020

2020 First Quarter Activity Report 

May 28, 2020

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 2020 First Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal deficit of $102,817. This deficit includes Ontario Works forecasted to be on budget. Children’s Services is forecasted to be on. Social Housing is forecasted to be under budget by $166,823. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $287,183. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be a $17,543 surplus over budget. 

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

Paramedic Services 

2020 Hiring Process

Paramedic Services closed the posting for the 2020 annual external Paramedic hiring during the first quarter. The posting was for up to 10 positions. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was made to suspend the process until such time as processes could be developed to ensure safety of candidates and DSB staff. Work commenced with existing partners, including Interdev and Laidlaw and Associates for the development of virtual testing capacity. The hiring process and orientation is expected to resume during the second quarter. 

Non-Urgent LHIN Project 

In the first quarter of 2020, the DSB hired new members for operation of the non-urgent pilot project. This pilot project was originally approved for a 6 month trial period in spring of 2013. There has been no decision related to a permanent model. The DSB continues to work with Manitoulin Health Centre and Espanola Regional Hospital to manage the movements of their non-urgent patient population, allowing for mitigation of Paramedic Service degradation. In the summer of 2019, funding for the non-urgent system was transferred from Ontario Health to the partner hospitals. This change in funding has resulted in system changes where funding is limited to patients from those facilities.

Community Safety and Wellness Planning

Paramedic Services continued its work with municipal partners to help develop Community Safety and Wellness Plans in accordance with the prescribed timelines. The municipal partners all approved the development of joint plans for the areas of Manitoulin Island, LaCloche Foothills, Sudbury East, and The Chapleau area. Public surveys were developed and released by each group during the first quarter of 2020. The results of these surveys will allow for further design development over the coming months. The declaration of a Provincial State of Emergency in the first quarter has slowed the ability for staff and municipalities to meet to confirm working groups, however staff continue to work in the background to establish framework documents. 

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

The first quarter of 2020 marked the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, impacting every person. Paramedic Services has focused a large number of its resources on assisting with planning, response, and eventually recovery from this event. In March, Paramedic Services responded to a request to develop and deploy a COVID-19 Response Team to perform community-based testing of the public. The rationale was to help ensure separation of potential patients from at risk populations, and from health care facilities. 

The COVID-19 response also required a significant effort by logistics staff in order to ensure an appropriate level of personal protective equipment was available. In a number of instances, staff had to work with Provincial partners and other vendors to source items that had become impossible to obtain. This effort by staff had a significant impact on the service’s ability to ensure paramedic and patient safety. 

Children’s Services

Licensed Child Care During a Labour Disruption

On January 15th, staff were copied on a memo sent to licensed child care providers.  The memo highlights the Ministry of Education’s (MEDU) commitment to ensuring children are in safe and healthy environments during education sector labour negotiations. Escalating job action could require parents to make alternative arrangements for their kindergarten and school-age children. Full day child care centres located in schools may also be impacted in the event of school closures.  

The Minister of Education announced that the government is launching Support for Parents, an initiative that will provide financial support to parents of eligible children for each day of school that is missed on account of the labour disruption. Parents with children attending school-based child care centres that are closed on account of the labour disruption will also be able to receive support.

Child Care Funding Formula  

On February 27, 2020 the DSB approved the Child Care Funding Formula – Issue Report and directed staff to action the recommendations contained within the report.  

The Ministry of Education provides funding for CMSMs/DSSABs that is founded on a proportionate allocation of specific types of funding based on identified data elements.  The Ministry of Education is currently undertaking a full review of the formula and funding model for the Child Care programs under the Service Management of the 47 CMSMs/DSSABs.

Canada uses three low-income measures: Low Income Cut Off (LICO), Low Income Measures (LIM) and a Market Basket Measure. LICO’s drawback is that it does not factor in cost of living in different places. For example, people in the rural north typically have higher heating costs, gas costs, food costs, transportation costs, than those in the rural south, etc. This can make things difficult when comparing poverty levels in different regions. It tends to understate poverty in the north.

Currently the MEDU formula uses LICO as a data element to provide additional funding for low-income families. There is one pot of money earmarked for low-income families and MEDU distributes it based on LICO data from Statistics Canada.

According to LICO, 4.3% of the population in Manitoulin-Sudbury are low-income compared to 9.8% of the population in Ontario as a whole. This means that Manitoulin-Sudbury receives proportionately less low-income funding compared to other places in the province.  

If LIM was used instead, the percentage of population in low-income in Manitoulin-Sudbury and Ontario are the same at 14.4%. This means Manitoulin-Sudbury would receive low-income funding that is on par with the provincial average. 

The DSB and the member municipalities that are part of the DSB recognize the importance of quality and affordable child care programs and the positive impacts that such programs have on community well-being and creating inclusive communities.

The DSB and member Municipalities demanded that the Minister of Education address the funding inequities that have been created by the current funding model for Northern Ontario. All 18 member municipalities were asked to pass similar resolutions supporting this resolution which would be shared with the Honorable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario and the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, FONOM, NOMA, AMO and OMSSA. 

Ontario Works

Ontario Works Caseload

In the first quarter of 2020, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care caseload average is 535 Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decrease by 4%.

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services in collaboration with other ministries across government, is currently assessing the Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy and is launching consultations to inform the development of a new five-year strategy, in accordance with the Poverty Reduction Act, 2009. The Ministry’s goal is to drive progress and identify solutions to reduce poverty. To inform their new Poverty Reduction Strategy, they will be asking Ontario residents how they can encourage job creation and connect people to employment; provide people with the right supports and services; and lower the cost of living and make life more affordable.

Employment Services Transformation

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has selected service system managers for three previously identified catchment areas, where the prototype for the new employment services model will begin. Unfortunately, though some municipalities put in bids, none were selected.    

The service system managers are:

  • A consortium led by Fedcap for Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula (which is a U.S. based non-profit organization that provides vocational training); 
  • Fleming College for Muskoka-Kawarthas (which is a College), and
  • WCG, part of the APM Group for Peel (an Australia-based private sector firm (the Canadian subsidiary of for-profit Australian company).
Employment Services

The DSB continues to deliver Employment Ontario programs in the Chapleau North area.

In the first quarter, 566 individuals accessed our Employment Resource Centre. The DSB staff are working very closely with local employers and have also been working closely with First Nations communities.

The DSB continues to build and maintain relationships with community stakeholders for the benefit of our participants. These relationships can be used as a resource or tool to assist our clients in establishing a better quality of life.

Update on Employment Ontario Allocations for 2020-21

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has made some decisions regarding the 2020-21 allocation  exercise for the Literacy and Basic Skills, Employment Service, Youth Job Connection, Youth Job Connection: Summer and Canada-Ontario Job Grant programs. Given the current context with the Global COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry’s approach will be to maintain status quo funding, at 2019-2020 funding levels, for all service providers and programs across the province for the next fiscal year.

In Employment Services Transformation prototype communities, service providers delivering in-scope programs will receive a six-month transfer payment agreement at status quo funding. This will support continuity of services for communities and individuals as they address this rapidly evolving situation.

Community Housing

Waiting list (Applicants)

At March 31, 2020, the number of waiting applicants decreased by 1%.  A breakdown of the applicants is as follows:

1 Bedroom    414    (-22)
2 Bedroom      56    (+2)
3 Bedroom      45    (0)
4 bedroom      28    (+1)

Total applications to end of quarter is 543.

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 228 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. We have secured 10 full market rent tenants and 36 affordable rent tenants throughout the portfolio as of the end of the first quarter.

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit

This program will provide a portable housing benefit directly to Ontario Households. It is set to begin in April 2020. The DSB has lobbied the government to allow us to deliver our own Direct Shelter Subsidy program rather than delivering this approach program across the Province.

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit will be determined, calculated and payments will be managed by the Ministry of Finance. The benefit calculation will be based on the difference between 80 per cent of average market rent and 30 per cent of monthly income. This program only considers the rent component of someone’s shelter expenses.

The program will provide a total of $92,420 over a two year period to assist households approved by the DSB.

  • 2020-21:  $70,534
  • 2021-22:  $21,886
Rent Geared-to-Income Simplification

Based on the analysis completed the tenant impact is positive whereby 85% have a decrease in the rent and 15% will have a rental increase. Although the DSB will see an initial decrease in rental revenue, staff are satisfied that any decrease will be offset by the continued income-mixing of each building. The changes will be implemented effective July 1, 2020.

Housing and Homelessness Plan – Enumeration

The DSB completed and submitted the 5-year housing and homelessness plan. With respect to homeless enumeration, the Ministry plans to implement a by-name list approach beginning in 2021. Service Managers in many Ontario communities are implementing by-name lists to provide real-time data about people experiencing homelessness in their communities. The Ministry will work collaboratively with stakeholders over the coming months, on the implementation of a by-name list approach to ensure that future requirements are focused on achieving the best and most cost-effective outcomes for Ontarians.

Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020

On March 12, 2020, the government introduced the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act. The Bill proposes amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, Housing Services Act, Building Code Act, and proposes the Ontario Mortgage and Housing Corporation Repeal Act. 

The proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, the Housing Services Act, and Building Code Act, are part of the following: 

  • More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan to make it faster and easier to build housing, including rental housing, and to build the right types of homes in the right places. 
  • Community Housing Renewal Strategy: a multi-year strategy to stabilize and grow Ontario’s community housing sector; and 
  • Transforming the Delivery of Building Code Services: by enabling the creation of a future administrative authority that would deliver faster, better, and smarter services to support the safe construction of buildings, while continuing to protect public health and safety.

If passed by the Legislature, specific details would need to be developed in regulation. The province intends to move quickly, working with sector partners, to develop regulations so that rules can be in place before the majority of original agreements start to end in 2022-23.

Infrastructure & Asset Management 

Work Orders

During the first quarter of 2020, a total of 270 Work Orders were generated: 215 for Community Housing; 12 for Administration Offices, and 43 for Paramedic Services.  There was a total of 207 Work Orders closed or resolved during that time. 

New Horizons for Seniors – Grant Project

In 2019 the DSB was successful in receiving a grant through the New Horizons for Seniors of $25,000. This program intends to provide funding to promote inclusion of seniors. The project that we submitted involved converting the two Public Washrooms into 1 fully accessible Public Washroom that would be available for all residents and Public to participate in activities that would be hosted in the Common Room such as Community Paramedicine, Community Tax Clinics, Lunches hosted by CMHA, and Community Information Sessions.  


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

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