Presentations from the Symposium are linked below. They are not in accessible formatting, should you require an accessible version please contact or 416.971.9856 ext 330.

Moving Forward Together Toward Ending Chronic Homelessness and Reducing Poverty in Ontario
Both the Provincial and municipal governments are making and implementing plans to reduce poverty and to eliminate chronic homelessness in Ontario by 2025. Insights on the urban, rural and northern dimensions of poverty and homelessness will be provided as well as illustrations of concrete actions by each order of government. Further, there will be discussion on the potential for municipal-provincial collaboration working towards achieving shared goals.

  • Nathalie Des Rosiers, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Housing
  • Mayor Jamie McGarvey, Parry Sound and Chair of AMO Task Force on Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Human Services Planning
The findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reinforced the necessity, value and opportunity of engaging Indigenous Peoples. Throughout the Province, municipal governments and District Social Service Administration Boards are seeking to engage Indigenous Peoples to achieve better human service planning outcomes and deliver culturally responsive services. This session will provide opportunities to share and hear promising practices from the speakers and audience.

Speakers: Forward Together Through Integrated, Collaborative and Citizen Focused Human Services
Sustainable, efficient and responsive human services are essential to creating healthy and prosperous communities. Over the years, municipal governments and District Social Service Administration Boards have developed progressive responsibility for service system management of vital human services that contribute to this end goal. The question is whether there are sufficient tools and enabling legislation, regulations, policies and good practices in place both provincially and municipally to achieve optimal human services delivery through greater integration, horizontal collaboration and shifting beyond program-orientated approaches toward the provision of truly citizen-focused services in the human services field.

  • David Szwarc, CAO,  Peel Region
  • Deputy Janet Menard, Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Steve Orsini, Secretary of Cabinet, Clerk of the Executive Council, and Head of the Ontario Public Service
Transforming Human Services in Ontario for the 21st Century
There is critically important work underway to modernize, transform and re-shape municipal human service delivery in Ontario to meet the needs of citizens in the 21st century.  Hear from ministries about the various initiatives underway, their engagement with the municipal sector and horizontal collaboration occurring within government. Learn and provide input on what transformation will mean for both citizens and municipal service system managers, the implications for change management and the need for culture change both provincially and municipally.

  • Deputy Minister Janet Menard, Community and Social Services
  • Deputy Minister Laurie LeBlanc, Ministry of Housing (invited)
  • Assistant Deputy Minister Shannon Fuller, Ministry of Education (invited)

Concurrent Block A:
Session 1: Addressing Complex Social Issues through New Approaches
Addressing complex and long-term social challenges like poverty sometimes requires doing things differently. Municipal governments, along with the non-profit sector, are conducting human service system planning to guide human services delivery in new ways to respond to these challenges. Increasingly, they are exploring approaches including place-based services, community hubs and multi-sector issue-based collaboration. This session will explore various approaches and frameworks to responding to complex social problems, and achieve strong human service outcomes for residents. Perspectives will be shared on what the Province can do to aid municipal work on the ground in local communities.


Session 2: Enhancing the Municipal Role in Immigration Attraction and Settlement
Municipal governments play a critical role on the ground in the attraction, retention and settlement of immigrants, and arguably could play a larger role in the process through the development of local strategies and plans. This session will share leading practices and explore how municipal human services can contribute to successful settlement for both community economic and social development. Perspective will also be shared on how the Province is supporting municipal governments and the community sector to achieve shared immigration priorities for Ontario.

Concurrent Block B:
Session 1: Income Security Reform for Ontario
The provincial government is working towards income security reform with a goal of reducing poverty, supporting people in their efforts to participate in the economy, and providing services in a way that makes sense to the people who need them. Participants will learn about the case for change and hear perspectives from members of the Income Security Reform Working Group on providing income security benefits across a broad range of services, from social assistance to housing to child care to health benefits and more.

  • Erin Hannah, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Keith Palmer, Director of Community Services, County of Dufferin and Past President, Ontario Municipal Social Services Association 
  • Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy & Legal Services, Income Security Advocacy Centre

Session 2: Leveraging Municipal Purchasing Power for Community Benefit
In the face of infrastructure investments by all orders of government, there is an opportunity to use Community Benefit approaches and other forms of social procurement to leverage the purchase of goods and services to yield community benefits. Examples include targeted jobs, training and apprenticeships, local and social enterprise opportunities and public amenities.   Learn how to harness municipal purchasing power to achieve equitable economic development and partner with your procurement officials to achieve this.

Closing Plenary – Achieving Community Safety and Well-Being through Human Service Interventions
Increasing community safety and well-being outcomes through crime prevention is of vital importance to maintaining healthy and prosperous communities.  Human services play a vital role and increasingly, there is a movement toward enhanced service coordination between the police and the human services sector to achieve shared outcomes. Speakers will explore the potential for greater collaboration on the ground and the value of bringing all the right players to the table.