Public Health and Safety Association Conducting PTSD Needs Assessment

The Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) is conducting a needs assessment as part of their process to develop new training and awareness around post-traumatic stress disorder. Please see below for a message from PSHSA:

The Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) is conducting a needs assessment for the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness and Anti-Stigma Training.

For all organizations interested in PTSD Prevention a great first step in your PTSD Prevention activities is ensuring that everyone in your organization has an understanding of what PTSD is and how to have a workplace culture that promotes early help seeking.

To help you build awareness in your organization, PSHSA will be developing PTSD and Anti-Stigma Awareness training that organizations can use to educate staff and supervisors.

This survey will only take about 10 minutes. Click here to answer this survey now.


Government Consulting on Rural Education Strategy

The Ministry of Education is holding consultations as part of its development of a rural education strategy. The consultation is being guided by a discussion paper, which outlines a series of key questions, including:

  1. What are the opportunities for school boards to share space in your area? How can the provincial government and school boards support that?
  2. How can we ensure that the impact of schools on local communities is given full consideration?
  3. How can we best recognize the unique funding needs of rural and remote areas?

According to the Ministry about 15% of students in Ontario are enrolled in a rural public school. The government is accepting written feedback, holding in-person consultations, and planning to launch a survey.

For more:

Discussion Paper: Supporting Students and Communities

Consultation: Ontario’s Rural Education Strategy 


Government Announces New Funding for Child Care

Today the government announced new funding to provide access to childcare for 24,000 more children. The announcement, which will be included in tomorrow’s budget, includes $200 million in additional funding in 2017-2018. The government has also announced that it is going to work with families and experts over the next year to develop a child care affordability strategy.

For more:

News Release: Helping Ontario Families Access Affordable Child Care 

Province Distributing Opioid Medication Across the Province

The government of Ontario has announced expanded access to naloxone, a life-saving drug that can be used to temporarily reverse opioid overdoses. Under the government’s new program the drug will be provided free of charge in over 200 communities across the province. As of the end of March more than 28,000 naloxone kits have already been dispensed to pharmacies, public health units, and community-based organizations than offer needle exchange and hepatitis C programs. In addition, more than 500 kits have been distributed at correctional facilities.

For more:

Government of Ontario: Where to find naloxone kits 

Ministry of Health and Long-term Care: Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose 


Province Releases Basic Income Paper

The Government of Ontario has released a report that summarizes the feedback it received on how to design a basic income pilot project. According to the government, more than 35,000 people and organizations participated in the consultations. The bulk of the information received by the government suggests that it should design the program along the following criteria:

  • That it includes Ontario residents aged 18-64 living in socially and economically diverse communities, in urban, rural and northern locations
  • That it helps people living on low incomes meet their basic needs
  • That it lifts people out of poverty, with long-term improvements in health, employment and housing

You can read the full consultation feedback paper here.

For more:

Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario (Hugh Segal Discussion Paper) 

Applications Open for Seniors Community Grant Program

The Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat is now accepting applications the Seniors Community Grant Program. This new program is the first of its kind, dedicated exclusively to funding seniors programs. It is designed to provide funding for community groups that encourage greater social inclusion, volunteerism and community engagement for seniors. There is approximately $2 million available for project-based grants ranging from $1,000 – $8,000. Applications will be accepted until March 3, 2017. Find out more about this program here.

New Report on Rethinking Social Assistance

A new report, published by the Mowat Centre, argues that patterns in Canada’s labour market are creating a growing number of Canadians with little or no attachment to our country’s social architecture. The report questions the extent to which Canada’s social architecture is suited to the new realities of work, including automation, the rise of short-term contracts and the “gig” economy. Within this context, millions of Canadians could lose their jobs to automation, or see their full-time positions replaced with short-term contracts. Unless policy makers embrace transformational changes to our social safety net, many of our social policies and programs will prove inadequate to meet these challenges, which could place an enormous strain on governments at all three levels.

The fissures in existing social programs
and policies are already evident, whether it
is unemployed workers ineligible for EI, a shortage of affordable childcare spaces or barriers to accessing mental health services
and pharmaceuticals. As more people enter
the gig economy of self-employed, independent contractors or lose out to automation, their place within Canada’s social architecture will become even more tenuous.


Read the full report here.

New Paper on Inter-Municipal Cooperation and Shared Service Delivery

A new paper, written by Zachary Spicer and Adam Found explores shared service delivery models in city-regions facing expanding demand. The paper argues that while amalgamations have produced little if any savings (some studies suggest costs actually increase)  and undermined local autonomy, inter-municipal cooperation arrangements offer municipalities an effective means to make services more efficient, while maintaining autonomy.

The antiquated solutions of forced amalgamation and provincial mandates on service sharing have produced few economies of scale and and have greatly undermined local autonomy. Provinces need to shift their focus from imposing centralized local government to creating frameworks that promote cooperative and flexible local governance.

Read the paper here.

Government Releases Community Hubs Progress Report

The government of Ontario released a report yesterday on the progress that it has made establishing and strengthening community hubs. Highlights of the reporting include the government’s progress:

  • Increasing the number of potential partners that can buy or lease surplus school property before it is put on the open market
  • Investing nearly $90 million to create school spaces for community use and expand child care and family support services
  • Simplifying the funding application process and expanding eligibility to allow the integration of multiple health and social services under one roof

According to the report, the province also plans to launch a common registration portal this fall to reduce the administrative burden for transfer payment recipients. The report was prepared by the province’s Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group. You can access a copy here.


Province Releases Culture Strategy

The government of Ontario has released its first-ever Culture Strategy, which is designed to set targets for promoting participation in culture and the arts. Key features of the strategy include:

  • Supporting the use of more Canadian content in schools
  • Helping to conserve heritage buildings with energy efficiency improvements
  • Enhancing technical and business training for those working in the culture sector
  • Developing a new fund to support cultural activities in Indigenous communities and supporting youth cultural camps

For more:

A Summary of Ontario’s Culture Strategy 

The Ontario Culture Strategy: Telling our stories, growing our economy