2nd Quarter CAO Activity Report - September 23, 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 Second Quarter (Unaudited) Financial Report was presented to the Board and projects a year-end municipal surplus of $172,624. Children’s Services and Ontario Works 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 $234,491. Paramedic Services is forecasted to be over budget by $68,160. Interest revenue on non-reserve accounts is forecasted to be $6,293 more 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 

Paramedics continue to play an integral role in all things COVID-19 across our service area. Paramedics continue to conduct mobile and in-home COVID-19 testing but have scaled back the support the Manitoulin Health Centre’s weekly Assessment Centres due to peak vacation staffing pressures. We expect Assessment Centre activities to decrease as vaccination rates continue to climb for our areas.

COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign

Leveraging the current COVID-19 Paramedic Response Team (CPRT), Paramedic Services have played an important role in the planning and roll out of vaccines across our region. Since the outset, Paramedics have been utilized to staff mass clinics and deliver “home bound” vaccinations to our most isolated and shut-in populations. In line with the Premier’s desire to have a “2 dose” summer, Paramedics continue to support all vaccination campaigns but anticipate a gradual scaling back of activities as vaccines are migrated to the primary health care providers and pharmacies.

Spring Recruitment and Training

Paramedic Services held another recruitment and were successful at hiring 7 new Paramedics out of over 30 applicants. We concurrently held our spring training sessions where we had 10 sessions and close to 140 staff participate. 

Peer Support Network – Recruitment, training and PeerConnect deployment

After a very difficult couple of years, The Peer Support Network required rejuvenation in the shape of new members and in-depth training. The Network was able to recruit 4 new Peer Support team members which increased our membership to 13 total. These recruits will allow for a more balanced approach to mental health supports and respite for those members that have been doing the heavy lifting this past year. Training occurred in late June with the entire team spending three intense days with Dr. Ethier refining their Peer Support competencies and learning new methods for early intervention in Post Traumatic Stress.  The PeerConnect App deployment is on schedule and is expected to go live for all Paramedics July 23, 2021.

Community Paramedicine for Long Term Care

After much dialogue and work with OPSEU, a Memorandum of Understanding was agreed to allowing for the recruitment of up to 6 Full-Time Community Paramedics. A posting was issued, and the ensuing competition yielded 4 successful applicants. The start dates for the new Community Paramedics was June 28, 2021. An external posting has been issued for 2 more candidates and is closing on July 5, 2021.

Rapid Antigen Testing

The first shipments of tests have been received and the Community Paramedicine team will be beta testing both testing and self-testing methods, processes and analyzing results. The beta tests are set to be completed July 23, 2021, where a complete review will be conducted to ensure all of the “bugs” are ironed out before a larger roll out. Paramedic Services will deploy the tests to all 12 stations during the month of August and we are on target for a September 7 roll out and commencement to all other DSB offices.

Children’s Services

Province Wide Stay at Home Order

The Ministry of Education (MEDU) shared a memo announcing a province-wide stay at home order starting April 8, 2021. During the stay-at-home order, child care was permitted to remain open. Earlier in the spring, Public Health Sudbury and Districts and local school boards agreed to move to remote learning. Child care providers in the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB offered emergency child care to school-aged children for this period.

Time-Limited Public Health Actions Schools and Child Care

A memo was issued on April 15, 2021 announcing that the government would provide emergency child care (ECC) for school-aged children of eligible workers, free of charge, starting April 19, 2021. The province committed to provide funding support for ECC. Costs for ECC were covered during the period schools were closed for in-person learning. CMSMs and DSSABs were asked to keep track of funding associated with managing and operating ECC sites. CMSMs and DSSABs were asked to submit a planning template for approval to operate ECC programs. All Providers in the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB applied and were permitted to provide ECC to school-aged children.

The government implemented a broad eligibility list of workers. Child care staff/providers who implemented ECC for school-aged children were asked to create conditions that supported students’ engagement in remote learning. All child care settings continued to adhere to strict health and safety measures.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – Access for Child Care Workers

A memo was issued by MEDU on April 27, 2021 announcing that beginning on April 29, 2021, child care workers were eligible to book vaccination appointments. Licensees were asked to provide a letter to each eligible employee/provider citing the eligibility criteria. 

Child Care Updates

MEDU issued a memo on June 2, 2021 confirming that ECC would continue in the same manner as it had since April 19, 2021 and that these measures would end on the final day of elementary school instruction. Licensed child care centers were able to resume serving school-aged children for full-days over the summer months in accordance with the ministry’s health and safety guidance.

Financial Flexibility to Support Early Years

On June 2, 2021, staff received a memo from the Ministry of Education regarding funding flexibility to support sector sustainability as a result of the decision to continue with remote learning. 

The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB may leverage funding flexibility between fee subsidy and general operating funding. This enables the staff to provide time limited and targeted support to licensed child care providers with the intention of providing financial relief to assist with sustainability

Child Care providers are expected to access all federal supports (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy--CEWS) before staff exercise funding flexibility.

Funding should be prioritized to providers who demonstrate that the financial impact from the school age closure will impact their ability to deliver programs.  Staff are currently reviewing provider financial records and viability monthly and will exercise flexibility as needed.

Updates to the School and Child Care Screener and Ministry of Health Guidance to Public Health Units

On June 8, 2021 MEDU issued a memo to provide updated COVID-19 screening guidance for early years and child care settings. The update to the screening tool (school and child care screening and screening tool for employees and essentials visitors) align with the Ministry of Health’s new guidance for individuals who may be experiencing post-vaccine symptoms.

Licensees were asked to strongly encourage all eligible child care staff/providers to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. The Ministry of Health updated their Covid-19 Guidance: School Case, Contact, and Outbreak Management document. Updates to this guidance were made to provide further clarity and to promote alignment with new provincial guidance related to variants of concern.

EarlyON Reopening

On June 11, 2021, an email from the Early Years Advisor confirmed that in Step 1, EarlyON Child and Family Centres are permitted to offer outdoor programming for up to 10 people.

An additional email was received on June 25, 2021, confirming that in Step 2, EarlyON Child and Family Centres were permitted to open for indoor and outdoor programming effective June 30, 2021. EarlyON Centres are encouraged to continue to follow the Operational Guidance Documents and to continue to offer virtual programs and telephone supports, where possible.

Ontario Works

Ontario Works Caseload

In the second quarter of 2021, the Ontario Works/Temporary Care caseload average was 482. Compared to last year at this time, the caseload has decreased 11.72%.

Social Assistance Vision

As part of Ontario’s New Vision for Social Assistance that was announced on February 11, 2021, the government is proposing amendments to the Ontario Works Act, 1997, within the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021. The proposed amendments would enable further codesign and re-alignment testing of Ontario Works functions among municipalities, District Social Service Administration Boards, and the Ministry in support of the new delivery model and support the vision’s enhanced focus on life stabilization. This would enable people in receipt of social assistance to achieve greater independence and financial resilience.

A briefing note from the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) was shared on May 14, 2021, breaking down the change to the municipal delivery role. Given the role of municipalities and DSSABs in this important work, the province will continue to partner and co-design with Service Managers to improve outcomes for social assistance recipients.

As part of these amendments, the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB was phased into the Centralized Intake Process on June 21, 2021. This is the first step in moving towards the new division of labour with the province focusing on financial assistance administration and municipal partners focusing on person centered services including navigating employment supports, community and health services. Municipal governments will focus frontline caseworkers to work with people to meet their life stabilization needs and help them navigate to the community and health services that are available to them. 

Municipal governments are well positioned to provide integrated human services to people while the Ontario government is the appropriate primary funder for provincial income support programs.

Employment Ontario - Employment Services Transformation

In 2019, Employment Services Transformation (EST) was first launched as a prototype in three areas. The Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (MLTSD) has announced the launch of Employment Services Transformation (EST) in a further nine catchment areas across the province. This will be phased in between now and the end of 2023. 

The transformation of employment services is a crucial step toward the social assistance vision which will see a division of labour where employment services will be delivered by third party service system managers through the Employment Ontario Network. The progress into more catchment areas will see continued collaboration between MCCSS, MLTSD, and municipal and district partners. 

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     411 (+42)               
  • 2 Bedroom     49 (-1)
  • 3 Bedroom     37 (+6)                 
  • 4 bedroom     26 (+1)
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 218 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 68 affordable rent tenants. 

Smoke Free Housing – Unit Count-down

As of the end of the 2nd quarter of 2021, 177/275 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).

This funding was dependent on the Ministry receiving a completed Investment Plan and our sign back to the terms and conditions of the funding.

The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB has received an additional $1,006,274 in provincial funding through a third phase of Ontario’s SSRF.

The funding has been provided to support vulnerable individuals protect their health and safety as the province begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB identified food banks, transitional housing supports, Manitoulin Family Resources, mental health and addictions support to Community Housing tenants, Community Paramedicine, transportation, isolation centers and soundproof pods as priorities in this Investment Plan.

Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB staff will continue to explore ongoing partnerships and other funding through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative to sustain these initiatives.

2021 Rent Freeze

In 2020 Bill 204 - Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, came into effect, which in part implemented a Rent Freeze throughout 2021. The Bill freezes increases that would have happened in the 2021 calendar year. The rent freeze will end on December 31, 2021.

In October 2020 the Board sent a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing requesting funding to offset revenue losses resulting from this provincial policy change as it will result in a higher levy in 2021 to member municipalities.

On April 23, 2021, the Minister responded to the letter. The Minister states that his government recognizes the critical role of municipal partners and community housing providers in providing safe, stable, and affordable housing to vulnerable members of our communities. As well, he indicates that they are aware of the pressures the broader housing and homelessness sector is facing, and the great steps the community housing sector is taking to protect its residents and communities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The actual financial impact of the Rent Freeze is difficult to predict, as the Rent-Geared-to-Income calculations are based on the tenant’s income with annual reviews occurring throughout all of 2021. Staff will continue to complete Annual Income Reviews as scheduled and track the financial impact on an ongoing basis.

 Rapid Mobilization Table

Within the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB districts there are two Rapid Mobilization Tables (RMT). One operates in the LaCloche area and the other in the Sudbury East area.

RMT uses an integrated team approach based on collaboration across agency mandates to respond rapidly to emerging crisis situations, develop solutions within a circle of care, identify needs and gaps, and build on an engaged and caring community. The purpose of RMT is to identify situations of acutely elevated risk, provide support and a quick collaborative response.

In LaCloche the table launched in October 2018 consists of 22 partner agencies and has had 13 referrals. The Sudbury East table launched in October 2019, consists of 16 partner agencies, and has had 2 referrals.

Infrastructure and Asset Management

Work Orders

During the quarter (April – June 2021) a total of 186 Work Orders were generated: 118 for Community Housing; 12 for Administration Offices, and 56 for Paramedic Services. There was a total of 99 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.

Work Orders are being caught up now from those not deemed urgent during the lockdown period and staff are working hard trying to get caught up.

Little Current Project – New Build

Staff received correspondence from the Municipality of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands confirming a resolution passed at Council donating 1.42 acres of land to the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB for the purpose of the Seniors Affordable Housing Project on Park Street in Little current.

Capital Projects with Housing Services Corporation 

Encompass has completed the Thermal Scans in Community Housing Buildings for 12 locations. Thermal scans are done to identify any hot spots within a building’s main breaker panel and any sub-panels which could cause equipment failure or fire due to power irregularities or over-loading. These scans were recommended due to the age of the buildings and the fact that this equipment is original. A formal report on the findings will be presented in the coming weeks.

Induspec has completed an Investigation study on the Balcony Structures at 9 Community Housing locations.  The purpose of this study is to assess the integrity and document the existing condition of the second-floor balconies including the slab, metal decking and guards.  Again, a formal report will be presented that will identify any areas requiring attention and recommendations for remediation.

In Sudbury East we have closed a Tender and awarded the contract to Patrick Roofing (Northern) Limited of Sudbury. This Capital Project will see new window installation in St.-Charles as the main project but will also include some brick repairs and the installation of a replacement overhead door. The same tender project will also include the installation of a replacement overhead door and removal and replacement of the exterior sealant in Noëlville.

Work is scheduled to begin in St.-Charles at the end of July.


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