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August 11, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/-EkV0sLMpE8

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. COVID-19 Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  July 14, 2022
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health Policies (N. Dupuis)
      1. Cybersecurity Awareness Program and Training Policy   
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Cybersecurity Report and Presentation (L. Gregg)
    2. CORRESPONDENCE – None                                                               
  8. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS

  9. New Business - None
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act) 
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or September 15, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment


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PREPARED BY:

Information Technology Department

DATE:

August 11, 2022

SUBJECT:

Cybersecurity


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is committed to ensuring its information technology (IT) infrastructure and data housed therein, is secure.  Our IT infrastructure plays an essential role in delivering services within the community of Windsor and Essex County.  As such, it is crucial that the WECHU adopt measures around cybersecurity to “protect critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks, whether those threats originate from inside or outside of the organization.” (IBM 2022)  Recent examples of entities negatively impacted by cyber-related activities include:

  • In June of 2022, the University of Windsor was impacted by a cybersecurity incident. The incident affected several platforms including the UWindsor website, Blackboard Learning Management System, UWinsit Student and campus Wifi.  On a preliminary basis, it has been determined that personal data of associated users was secure and not subject to misuse.
  • In June of 2022, Celero Solutions Inc., a third-party company that provides technology services to Northern Credit Union as well as other credit unions experienced a cybersecurity incident that compromised members’ private information. 

DISCUSSION

The WECHU’s approach to cybersecurity focuses on four areas, its users, its IT infrastructure, the transfer of risk of financial loss and continuous improvement. 

Users and IT infrastructure

The WECHU users, including staff and Board Members, represent the first layer in our approach to cybersecurity. Recognizing the importance of this layer, the WECHU has implemented a Cybersecurity Awareness Program and Training Policy (Policy).  This Policy prescribes mandatory training at the beginning of employment with the WECHU and annually thereafter, or more frequently, if determined appropriate.  It provides guidance regarding on-going communications with WECHU users regarding cyber-related activities.  The Policy identifies the WECHU’s use of periodic phishing campaigns to test the competencies of the WECHU users, identifying those requiring additional training and education.  Lastly, the Policy identifies a comprehensive reporting structure ensuring accountability and transparency surrounding the WECHU’s Cybersecurity Awareness Program.

The next layer in our approach to cybersecurity represents the WECHU’s Intrusion Detection System, more specifically, our Palo Alto Appliance.  This allows the WECHU to stop known threats before they can connect to our IT infrastructure. The firewall also employs secure sockets layer (SSL) decryption, a method that allows the WECHU to see inside normally secure traffic.

The third layer in our approach to cybersecurity is our firewall. The firewall exposes a nominal portion of the WECHU network to the outside world. The WECHU only allow services such as inbound e-mail, and web-traffic to pass to the WECHU network. This traffic is untrusted and moved into a zone of control. The zone of control allows us to read the packets of data to ensure it is safe for forwarding on through the next layer. The WECHU maintains several zones to prevent communication between services and computers that are not required. For example, once the Barracuda E-mail Security Gateway processes our e-mail traffic, it is the only device that can forward e-mail traffic directly to our firewall, which in turn gets sent to our e-mail servers. These basic zones of control ensure that a compromised node (server or workstation) is limited in the extent of the WECHU infrastructure that it interacts with.

The Barracuda E-mail Security Gateway, looks at all e-mail before delivery to our mail servers. This allows the IT Department to inspect, remove or quarantine e-mails before reaching the network. Additionally, the gateway has Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) which automatically scans e-mail attachments in real-time; suspicious attachments are detonated in a sandbox environment to observe behaviour. In addition to blocking the attachment, the results are integrated into the Barracuda Real Time Intelligence System providing protection for all other customers. (Barracuda Networks 2022)

The fourth layer in our approach to cybersecurity is the Antimalware.  Antimalware engines at both the firewall and desktop levels monitor the behavior of applications using a decision model to determine if the applications are behaving as anticipated. If they are not, the system quarantines the process, notifying the IT Department immediately of the potential threat.

The fifth layer in our approach to cybersecurity is the WECHU’s antivirus application. When retrieving files and processes, the computer accesses memory, which are reviewed and sandboxed or tested, until proven safe. This process can quickly identify files as they move between workstations and the internet or vice versa.

Graph illustrating various layers of IT security

The final layer of the WECHU’s approach to cybersecurity are the operating systems.  The WECHU IT Department monitors operating systems including Windows, Linux and vendor proprietary systems. Daily, the IT Department reads bulletins, release notes and threat assessments and determines what actions are required to mitigate the risk of a cyber-threat. By maintaining current patches, and eliminating legacy systems or protocols, the IT Department is able to provide a secure environment for WECHU staff to carry out their responsibilities.

Transfer of Risk of Financial Loss

To address the transfer of risk of financial loss resulting from a cyber-related incident, the WECHU has engaged third-party insurer.  Specific coverage provided under the policy include:

  1. Breach response services due to an actual or reasonable suspected Data Breach or Security Breach including legal, forensic and public relations/crisis management support.
  2. First party loss coverage including business interruption, dependent business loss, reputational loss, cyber extortion loss, hardware replacement and data recovery.
  3. Liability coverage including data and network liability, regulatory defence and penalties, payment care liabilities and costs and media liability.
  4. eCrime coverage including fraudulent instruction, funds transfer fraud, telephone fraud, impersonation fraud loss.
  5. Criminal reward coverage.

The insurance policy is renewed annually through a detailed application process.  Policy limits are subject to change depending upon contractual requirements the WECHU is subject to (i.e. Data Sharing Agreements) as well as industry-related changes (i.e. changes in insurable limits available through third party providers).

Continuous Improvement

The topic of cybersecurity is continuously evolving.  As such, the WECHU must actively improve its approaches to cybersecurity. Currently, the WECHU is undertaking a procurement process to engage a third-party consultant to perform penetration testing.  The purpose of penetration testing it to simulate a cyber attack on the WECHU’s IT infrastructure identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities.  Once identified, the WECHU can remediate vulnerabilities reducing the risk that its IT infrastructure will be negatively impacted by cyber-related activities or events.


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July 14, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/jKYaPzPfYko

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  June 16, 2022
    2. Audit Committee Meeting Minutes:  March 25, 2022
  5. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health Policies (N. Dupuis)
      1. Borrowing Policy (L. Gregg)
      2. User Fee Policy (L. Gregg)
  6. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS – None
    2. CORRESPONDENCE – None
  7. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
    1. Registered Charity Status (N. Dupuis)
    2. 2021 Annual Audited Financial Statements (L. Gregg)
  8. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report (April – June 2022) (N. Dupuis)
  9. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  10. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or August 11, 2022 – Via Video
  11. Adjournment

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TITLE

User Fee Policy

DEPARTMENT

Finance Department

APPROVED BY

Chief Executive Officer

DATE OF ISSUE

2022/06/29

ISSUE BY

Director of Corporate Services

REVIEW/REVISE DATE:

 


Disclaimer: printed versions of this document may be out of date. Always refer to the Policies and Procedures Intranet site for the most current versions of documents in effect.

Preamble

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is a publicly funded entity.  The WECHU is responsible for delivering programs and services in accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS).  If the WECHU determines, based upon the nature of the service being delivered, that a user fee is reasonable and appropriate, the WECHU must have policies and procedures providing guidance on the assessment of services for which a user fee could apply, and how the user fee should be established.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance on the establishment of user fees by the WECHU.  Such fees may be charged for services that exceed the requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), are not already funded by the Province of Ontario, the Federal Government, or other funding agency.   User fees should provide for either full or partial cost-recovery of the service.  Costs to be recovered through user fees include salaries, benefits, and material costs incurred to support the delivery of the service.

Roles and Responsibilities

Director and/or Manager:

  • Identify or assess whether a user fee shall apply to a service based upon the User Fee Policy;
  • Review the cost-recovery model;
  • Review the user fee with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Leadership Team (LT), if appropriate;

Manager

  • Identify service(s) that should be subject to a user fee in accordance with the User Fee Policy and discuss with their Director;
  • Compile the cost-recovery model and discuss with their Director;
  • Compilation of a Board Recommendation Report for review and approval.

Director of Corporate Services

  • Review of services subject to user fees to ensure that they are appropriate and in accordance with the User Fee Policy;
  • Review the User Fee Policy on a three (3) year basis or more frequently if determined appropriate, with approval required by the Board of Health.

Policy

The WECHU shall assess services delivered to determine if a user fee should be charged in accordance with the required procedure. In general, the assessment should consider whether the OPHS provides guidance on the application of a user fee to a service, and what benefit the service conveys to a specific individual, group or business (i.e. allowing an individual to earn income).  If appropriate, a user fee shall be charged to fully or partially recover the cost of providing that service.

The calculation of the user fee shall include reference to the time required to deliver the service, the role(s) required to deliver the service, and material(s) required to deliver the service.  On an annual basis, the calculation of the user fee shall be reviewed to ensure that it continues to be appropriate, in that it either fully or partially recovers the cost of providing the service.

The User Fee policy shall be reviewed by the WECHU on a three (3) year basis, or more frequently if appropriate, and approved by the Board of Health.

Procedure

A Director and/or Manager identifies a service provided to determine whether a user fee should be charged.  The assessment should include:

  • Determination whether the OPHS permits or prohibits a user fee for the service.
  • Review to ensure that the service is not funded by the Province of Ontario, Federal Government or other funding agency.
  • If permitted, and no other funding source is available, the Director and/or Manager would identify the benefit to be conveyed by the service and whether the user fee would be a barrier to the service.  The following should be considered:
    • Public service – Does the service provide benefit to the general public?  If so, would a user fee act as a barrier limiting the ability for the general public to access the service? 
    • Private Service – Does the service provide benefit to an individual, group or business?  If so, would a user fee act as a barrier limiting the ability for the individual, group, or business to access the service?
    • Mixed service – Does the service provide benefit to the general public and the private sector?  If so, would a user fee act as a barrier limiting the ability for the general public or specific individual, group or business to access the service.
  • In addition to the assessment above, the Director or Manager shall solicit feedback from other Public Health Units as to whether they are charging a user fee and if so, how much?
  • The Manager would compile a cost recovery model that considers the following:
    • The time required to perform the service in its entirety;
    • The salary and benefit costs incurred for the WECHU staff involved in the process;
    • The materials required to support the provision of services.

Once the cost recovery model is developed the Manager shall review with the Director and arrive at an appropriate user fee.  The proposed user fee can either be a full or partial cost recovery model. 

  • The Director shall discuss the assessment of the service, the proposed user fee and the communication plan with the impacted user groups, with the CEO and LT, if appropriate. 
  • The Manager shall compile a recommendation report in support of the user fee for review and approval by the Board.  The report shall include a summary of the assessment completed, the results of the survey with other Public Health Units, a summary of the proposed user fee and the communication plan with relevant user groups.

Compliance

Failure to comply with this Policy and any associated Procedures may result in appropriate disciplinary measures.  Please see WECHU’s Discipline Policy.

Related Documents

None


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TITLE

Borrowing Policy

DEPARTMENT

Finance

APPROVED BY

Chief Executive Officer

DATE OF ISSUE

2022/06/22

ISSUE BY

Director of Corporate Services

REVIEW/REVISE DATE:

 


Disclaimer: printed versions of this document may be out of date. Always refer to the Policies and Procedures Intranet site for the most current versions of documents in effect.

Preamble

In order to satisfy the operating or capital cash disbursement requirements, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) may, from time-to-time, be required to obtain external temporary financing.  The requirement to fund operating cash disbursements should be short-term, in that they do not exceed a period of six (6) months in any fiscal year.  The requirement to funding capital cash disbursements may exceed a period of one (1) fiscal year.

Policy

The WECHU may enter into borrowing transactions under the following circumstances:

  1. Borrowing money upon the credit (credit cards or corporate accounts, and line of credit) of the WECHU;
  2. Issue, sell or pledge debt obligations of the WECHU, including without limitation, bonds debentures, notes or other similar obligations of the WECHU whether secured or unsecured;
  3. Charge, mortgage, hypothecate or pledge as or any currently owned or subsequently acquired real or personal, movable or immovable property of the WECHU, including book debts, rights, powers, franchises and undertaking, to secure any such debt obligations or any money borrowed, or other debt or liability of the WECHU.

Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – The CEO shall be responsible for:

  • Approving all credit card and corporate account applications in advance of submission;
  • Submission of business cases in support of WECHU borrowing requirements to the Board of Health (Board);
  • Signing all Borrowing Agreements including renewals with financial institutions or other acceptable lending agencies, in conjunction with on of the Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer of the Board.

Director of Corporate Services – The Director of Corporate Services shall be responsible for:

  • Preparation of all credit card and corporate account applications for approval by the CEO.
  • Preparation of the business case in support of WECHU borrowing requirements to be presented to the Board;
  • Overseeing the repayment, reconciliation and reporting process on account of Borrowing;
  • Reporting to the Board on an annual basis the annual audited financial statements and all supplemental reporting on account of the WECHU’s borrowing transactions.

The Finance Department – The Finance Department shall be responsible for:

  • Processing, recording and reporting of all borrowing transactions throughout the course of the fiscal year.

Procedure

Borrowing:

Borrowings through a credit card or corporate account shall:

  • Be short-term in nature (typically 30 to 45 days);
  • Be on the WECHU corporate credit card;
  • Be on the WECHU corporate accounts, supported by a credit application approved by the CEO.

For other borrowings, the CEO, supported by the Director of Corporate Services, shall submit a business case in support of the WECHU’s borrowing requirements to the Board for approval.  The business case shall include:

  • The purpose of the borrowing including the strategic and operational objectives it supports;
  • The amount of borrowing and proposed timeframe;
  • The cost of borrowing;
  • The plan for repayment of borrowings over the proposed timeframe.

The CEO or their designate together with one of the Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer of the Board are authorized:

  • To borrow from a financial institution or other acceptable lending agency on behalf of the WECHU as required from time-to-time;
  • To sign all required Borrowing Agreements including renewals as required from time-to-time.

Repayment of Borrowing:

Borrowings on account of credit cards or corporate accounts shall be repaid in accordance with the credit card or corporate card payment terms.

For all other borrowings, balances shall be repaid in accordance with their applicable repayment schedules included in the Borrowing Agreement. Early repayment of borrowings, if permitted by the Borrowing Agreement, shall be proposed by the Director of Corporate Services to the Board for approval.

Reconciliation and Reporting on account of Borrowing:

The Finance Department shall be responsible for reconciling all borrowing transactions on a monthly basis.  Refer to the Cash Management Policy and Procedure for information regarding the reconciliation process.

Any borrowings on account of the line of credit by the WECHU of $100,000 and greater for a period extending beyond ten (10) business days, shall be reported to the Joint Board Extension Committee by the Director of Corporate Services.  This includes any relevant information regarding the nature of the borrowing.

As required by the terms of the applicable Borrowing Agreement, the Director of Corporate Services, shall report compliance with covenants included in Borrowing Agreements to the Board of Health (Board).

On an annual basis, the balances outstanding on account of borrowing transactions, shall be reported to the Board through the presentation of the annual audited financial statements.  For further details on the annual audited financial statements refer to the Financial Reporting Policy.  To supplement this reporting the Director of Corporate Services shall report:

  • The current (as at date of presentation) and projected borrowing levels.  The projection shall be for a one (1) year timeframe.
  • The amount of borrowings at a fixed and variable rate of interest.
  • The term of the borrowings.
  • Other information as determined appropriate.

Compliance

Failure to comply with this Policy and any associated Procedures may result in appropriate disciplinary measures.  Please see WECHU’s Discipline Policy.

Related Documents

Financial Reporting Policy


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Board Members Present:

Tracey Bailey, Treasurer 

Board Member Regrets:

Robert Maich, Audit Committee Member

Administration Present:

Nicole Dupuis, Lorie Gregg, Amy Wolters, Lee Anne Damphouse

Guests:

Cynthia Swift, Partner, KPMG LLP


QUORUM: Confirmed

 

Call to Order
Board Treasurer, Tracey Bailey, called the Audit Committee meeting to order at 2:00 pm.

  1. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED

  2. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  3. Approval of Minutes

    1. Audit Committee Meeting:  July 15, 2021
      Motion: That the minutes be approved.  
      CARRIED

  4. Standing Items

    1. KPMG Audit Planning Report (C. Swift, Partner, KPMG LLP)
      C. Swift walked through the audit planning report, noting that there has been some financial impact on the Health Unit resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.  She touched upon risks and the approach from an audit perspective, namely the review transactions, and journal entries to ensure that management cannot manipulate. In addition, she spoke about the approach to the audit of future employee benefits, and the requirements to review the actuarial report, and the underlying assumptions.  Lastly, she discussed the audit fees and reminded the Committee that they are based upon the fee proposal to the City of Windsor with a minor additional cost associated with work to be performed on account of management estimates. 
      Motion: That the information be received.
      CARRIED
  5. In-Camera Sessions

    1. In-camera Session with External Auditors
      L. Gregg noted that the Treasurer, T. Bailey, has the option to go into an in-camera session with the Auditor.  T. Bailey waived the option to go in-camera.
    2. In-camera Session with Management
      L. Gregg noted that Management has the option to go into an in-camera session with the Auditor. Management waived the option to go in-camera
  6. New Business - None
  7. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or Thursday, June 16, 2022 @ 3:30 pm
    At the Audit Findings Committee meeting on June 16, 2022, draft Audited Financial Statements and a Recommendation Report with an Analytical Review will be provided to the Audit Committee for review. The Audit Committee will bring forward the Audited Financial Statements to the Board for approval in July 2022. 

  8. Adjournment
    Motion: That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 2:08 pm.


RECORDING SECRETARY: L. Damphouse

SUBMITTED BY: N. Dupuis

APPROVED BY: WECHU Audit Committee - June 16, 2022
 


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Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Mark Ferrari, Gary Kaschak, Robert Maich, Ed Sleiman

Board Member Regrets:

Aldo DiCarlo, Judy Lund

Administration Present:

Nicole Dupuis, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Lorie Gregg, Kristy McBeth, Eric Nadalin, Dan Sibley, Lee Anne Damphouse

Administration Regrets:              

Felicia Lawal


QUORUM: Confirmed

 

  1. Call to Order
    The Chair, G. McNamara called the Regular meeting to order at 4:08 pm.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  4. COVID-19 Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
    Dr. Nesathurai provided a brief update on the status of COVID-19, noting that we are in period of increased disease activity, with increasing cases, higher percentage positivity, and outbreaks. Some have characterized this as the “7th wave” of COVID-19.  The reality is that we are going to have to live with COVID-19 and there will be periods of increased and decreased activity, which essentially means:

    • Regular vaccinations
    • Access to antiviral medications
    • Allocating the right hospital space and resources based on demand
    • Maintaining physical distancing and washing your hands regularly
    • Accepting risk with certain activities, i.e. indoor dining and large events/gatherings

    The Province has increased vaccination eligibility for individuals aged 18-59 for second boosters, i.e. the fourth COVID-19 vaccination, and we have approximately 100,000 people in our region who are eligible to receive their fourth shot.  Approximately 25,000 people in the 18-59 age group have not received any vaccine, and about 25,000 over the age of 60 have not received their fourth dose. Although 35% of individuals are up to date with their vaccinations, many received their last dose at least 6 months ago and there is the concern of weaning immunity.

    We are also experiencing a strain on health care resources, and there are things that each of us can do to mitigate this risk to the community, recognizing that we may see greater activity with COVID-19 come the fall. 

    Motion: That the information be received.
    CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  June 16, 2022
    2. Audit Committee Meeting:  March 25, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
      CARRIED
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-laws (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)
      1. Borrowing Policy

        N. Dupuis said that the Borrowing Policy is being brought to the board for review. This is a new policy and will be brought back with other by-laws for approval.

        L. Gregg walked through the key aspects of the policy.  We have identified that the policy review period will be every 2-3 years, or more frequently if appropriate.  If any borrowings are required under the policy, those borrowings would be brought to the Board for approval and any changes would be according to best practices.

      2. User Fee Policy
        N. Dupuis said that the User Fee Policy is being brought to the board for review.  The policy will be brought back with other by-laws for approval.

        L. Gregg walked through the key aspects of the policy. We have identified that the policy review period will be every three years, or more frequently if appropriate.
        Motion: That the information be received.
        CARRIED

  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS - None
    2. CORRESPONDENCE – None 
  8. Resolutions/Recommendation Reports
    1. Registered Charity Status (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis advised that the WECHU previously looked at the opportunity to achieve Registered Charitable Status.  Our legal counsel has reviewed this opportunity and there are a number of advantages for us to achieve this designation.  There are grants, donations and certain funding that we currently are not eligible to receive, however we would be if we achieved Registered Charitable Status. Potentially, obtaining this status would increase our financial reporting responsibility by having to file an Annual Registered Charity Information Return. 

      M. Ferrari asked if there are other health units who have achieved this status and if the WECHU could draw upon their experiences.  L. Gregg said that we do not know the exact number of health units who have achieved Registered Charitable Status, but that there are a number of them who have been able to take advantage of some significant cost savings, i.e. subscriptions for software licensing and property tax rebates.

      T. Bailey would like a report on how Registered Charitable Status is being handled by other health units with this designation. G. Kaschak asked if the WECHU did obtain Registered Charitable Status would this provide the ability for people to donate and would the WECHU provide tax receipts.  N. Dupuis said that asking the public for donations is not the WECHU’s intention of achieving Registered Charitable Status, but to take advantage of some significant savings.

      R. Maich supports this concept but noted there is a Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax Application Rule that notes Voting Members be paid, and to ensure that there are no tax implications.  N. Dupuis asked if the Board would like Administration to amend the proposed Motion.  R. Maich said that it would not be necessary to amend the Motion since the WECHU is still in the investigative stages, and would be happy to second it.
      Motion: That the Board of Health approve that WECHU Administration proceed with the process of investigating and applying for Registered Charity Status.
      CARRIED

    2. 2021 Annual Audited Financial Statements (L. Gregg)
      L. Gregg presented the annual Audited Financial Statements to the Board for approval for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for the year ended December 31, 2021.

      L. Gregg presented the annual Audited Financial Statements to the Board for approval for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit programs funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for the year ended March 31, 2022.  L. Gregg highlighted the key elements for the Board.
      Motion: That the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve the Annual Audited Financial Statements of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the Annual Audited Financial Statements of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives for the year ended March 31, 2022.
      CARRIED

  9. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report (April 2022 – June 2022) (N. Dupuis) 
      N. Dupuis noted that the WECHU is still operating in emergency response mode and our operations have shifted to meet the needs of the organization. One item to note is an insurance claim for an item that was stolen from the health unit, and there were no other issues to report.
      Motion:    That the information be received. 
      CARRIED

  10. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:45 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:58 pm
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, Thursday, August 11, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment
    Motion:  That the meeting be adjourned.   
    CARRIED

    The meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm.


RECORDING SECRETARY: L. Damphouse

SUBMITTED BY: N. Dupuis

APPROVED BY: The Board of Health - August 11, 2022
 


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Period: April 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022

  1. For the period covered by this CEO Quarterly Compliance Report:
    1. The undersigned has personal knowledge of the matters herein reported or has made due inquiry with respect to the same.
    2. Except as reported in any previous CEO Quarterly Compliance Report, the undersigned reports as follows:
      1. that the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all laws, regulations, orders, judgments or decrees applicable to it.  Without limiting the generality of the foregoing the Health Unit is current in respect of all tax and related withholding and remittances required by law;
      2. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with its By-laws;
      3. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all other Board resolutions;
      4. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all contracts and commitments to which the Health Unit is a party including without limitation all funding and accountability agreements;
      5. the Health Unit is current with respect to the payment of all remuneration (including salary and benefits) to its employees;
      6. there are no material variances between what is contemplated by the Operational Plan and what in fact transpired or appears likely to transpire;
      7. more specifically, no material changes are required in respect of financial resource allocation plans to address shifts in need and capacity;
      8. no material adverse change has occurred in the operations of the Health Unit or its assets and liabilities taken as a whole;
      9. there have been no material breaches of the Ethics Code of Conduct by anyone who is subject to it;
      10. there have been no unplanned terminations of any Health Unit employees;
      11. there have been no claims made pursuant to any insurance policies maintained by the Health unit, except as noted below, and,
      12. nothing has come to the attention of the undersigned which would materially adversely change any previous CEO Quarterly Compliance Report, except as detailed below:

              Items (vi), (vii), and (viii) have been revised due to the COVID -19 pandemic as follows:

  • The WECHU continues through the Organizational Emergency Response. As such, operations are shifted, including redeployments to meet the needs of the organization. Operational plans and finances are shifted in accordance with current public health demands including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The WECHU, in its response to COVID-19 within the communities of Windsor and Essex County has:
    • Redeployed staff as considered appropriate to facilitate our response to the pandemic including transition of staff from case and contact management to support the vaccination efforts as directed by the province.
    • Increased expenses related to vaccination to support resources required as per Ministry direction.

              Item (xi) notes the following claim:

  • On June 6, 2022, an air conditioning unit was stolen from the WECHU office located at 1005 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor.  The WECHU facilities department filed a report with the Windsor Police.  The WECHU has filed a claim with its property insurer for replacement of the air conditioning unit.  The WECHU is currently compiling estimates for replacement of the unit.  The replacement value of the unit is estimated to be $6,000 to $10,000.

Date: June 30, 2022

Signature(s):

Nicole Dupuis, Chief Executive Officer


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The accompanying financial statements of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (“Health Unit”) are the responsibility of the Health Unit’s management and have been prepared in compliance with legislation, and in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards for local governments established by the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. A summary of the significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 to the financial statements. The preparation of financial statements necessarily involves the use of estimates based on management’s judgment, particularly when transactions affecting the current accounting period cannot be finalized with certainty until future periods.

Annual Financial Statements Report - 2021 - Accessible PDF (PDF)
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The accompanying financial statements of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (“Health Unit”) Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives are the responsibility of the Health Unit’s management and have been prepared in compliance with legislation, and in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards for local governments established by the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. A summary of the significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 to the financial statements. The preparation of financial statements necessarily involves the use of estimates based on management’s  judgment, particularly when transactions affecting the current accounting period cannot be finalized with certainty until future periods.

Annual Financial Statements Report - Ministry Children, Community and Social Services Programs 2021 - Accessible PDF (PDF)
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JULY 14, 2022

ISSUE/PURPOSE

Approval of the annual audited financial statements.  This includes:

  • The annual audited financial statements for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for the year-ended December 31, 2021 (Appendix A)
  • The annual audited financial statements for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives for the year-ended March 31, 2022 (Appendix B)

(Hereinafter referred to collectively as “the annual financial statements”).

BACKGROUND

Paragraph 59(2) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act R.S.O. 1990 states that “A board of health shall cause to be prepared statements of its financial affairs in each year including but not limited to, (a) an annual statement of income and expenses; (b) an annual statement of assets and liabilities; (c) an annual estimate of expenses for the year.”

The annual financial statements are audited by KPMG LLP, independent external auditors appointed by the Corporation of the City of Windsor.  On June 16, 2022, the Audit Committee of the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health (Audit Committee) convened to review the annual financial statements and audit findings report with Administration and KPMG LLP.  The Audit Committee has recommended the financial statements for approval to the Board of Health (Board). KPMG LLP is prepared to issue, pending approval by the Board, an unmodified audit opinion on the annual financial statements. 

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU)

The enclosed is a summary analytical review addressing material changes in the annual audited financial statement captions year-over-year.

Statement of Financial Position

  • Cash and short-term investments increased $3,162,047.  Refer to the Statement of Cash Flows for details.
  • Accounts receivable increased $148,637 primarily due to the following:  a) Decrease in grants receivable from the Province of Ontario of $207,303 over 2020.  This balance varies on an annual basis based upon the extent and timing of funding approvals for one-time business cases typically funded at a rate of 100%.  b)  Increase in other receivables of $314,542.  The most notable grants outstanding for the year-ended December 31, 2021, include $67,161 relating to the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Program and $266,547, relating to the IPAC Hub Funding. 
  • Due to Province of Ontario increased $3,356,486.  This balance is comprised of:
    2021 Settlement $2,880,732
    Prior Settlements (2020, 2019) 1,921,315
    Total $4,802,047

Of noteworthy mention is the following:

  • In the period January to March of 2022, $915,766 was clawed back by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on account of the 2021 settlement.  The remaining, will be clawed back upon completion of the settlement review.
  • The 2019 settlement review is nearing completion with a final reconciliation notice to be issued by the MOH shortly.  The total amount remaining to be clawed back on account of the 2019 settlement is $518,577.
  • The 2018 settlement of $213,422 was clawed back in 2021;
  • Due to Municipalities decreased $949,475.  This balance is comprised of:
    2021 Settlement $1,260,800
    Prior Settlements (2020, 2019) 1,621,433
    Total $2,882,233

Of noteworthy mention is the following:

  • The 2021 Settlement relates to the 2021 Cost-Sharing Mitigation Funding of $1,260,800;
  • As noted in Due to Province of Ontario, the 2019 settlement review is nearing completion and will result in $1,285,794 being repaid to the Obligated Municipalities, based upon their pro-rata share of the population of Windsor and Essex County (2016 Census).
  •  Due to Community Programs increased $518,817.  This financial statement caption includes amounts owing to the other WECHU administered programs not included in the WECHU financial statements.  More specifically, this include balances relating to the WECHU Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program and the WECHU Nurse Practitioner Program.  These Programs do not have separate bank accounts.  Funds received from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) are included in the primary WECHU bank account and are reconciled regularly.
  • Accrued payroll and deductions decreased $119,861.  The decrease in this financial caption primarily relates to the discharging of obligations on account of management overtime (2020 - $176,584).
  • Deferred revenue increased $409,999.  Fluctuations in deferred revenue year-over-year typically relate to the nature and timing of grant funding.  At December 31, 2021, significant sources of deferred revenue include:  a) School-Focused Nurses funding of $439,134; b) Ontario Active Transportation grant of $24,000; c) Grant received from the Greater Essex County District School Board of $26,000 to support the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy.
  • Tangible capital assets decreased $11,760.  The net decrease is attributed to:  i) Tangible capital asset additions of $294,788; ii) Amortization expense of $306,548.  Of the tangible capital assets acquired in the year, $231,024 were funded by the Ministry of Health using Mandatory Program funding (70%), and $63,764 were funded using Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program funding (100%). Refer to note 9 for additional details.

Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit:

  • Increase in Revenue from the Province of Ontario of $6,758,354.  The increase is attributed to the following:
    • Increase in Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) Funding in the amount of $557,562.  This increase is attributed to the OSDCP Program being in operation for a full fiscal year, impacted on a limited basis by COVID-19 restrictions.
    • Increase in Other of $6,203,821. This is attributed to:  a) COVID-19 Vaccination Program funding in the amount of $5,739,845; b) School-Focused Nurses Initiative funding in the amount of $1,425,807.
  • The Ministry of Health funds the WECHU to a maximum of 70% of admissible expenditures.  Admissible expenditures for the purposes of the Ministry of Health Settlement Process is defined below:
Total General Program expenses at December 31, 2021 $ 28,791,415
Less: AMOH/MOH Compensation Initiative expenses 3,493
  $ 28,787,922
Less: Non-admissible expenses  
Amortization (306,548)
Plus: Change in Employee Future Benefits Liability 28,390
Tangible capital asset additions – Mandatory Program 231,024
  $ 28,740,788
Less: Offset revenue (170,086)
Total admissible expenditures $ 28,570,702 A
Ministry portion (70%) $ 15,981,600 B
100% of admissible expenditures $ 22,830,857 C (B/70%)
Municipal portion (30%) $ 6,849,257 D (C-B)
Mitigation funding $ 1,260,800 E
Final contributions – Obligated Municipalities $ 5,588,457 (D-E)
  • Increase in Expenses of $6,728,629.  Notable increases include:
    • Increase in Salaries and Benefits in the amount of $4,775,348.  Notable increases from 2021 include:
      • Increase in FTEs year-over-year.  At January 1, 2021, total FTEs amounted to 267.  At December 31, 2021, total FTEs amounted to 295.
      • One (1) percent cost of living increase for employees represented by the Canadian Union of Public Sector Employees (CUPE) and non-union staff and two (2) percent increase for employees represented by the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA).
      • Total payments on account of overtime, premium pay, and retroactive payments for the 2021 fiscal year amounted to $1,576,876.
    • Increase in Purchased Services in the amount of $1,559,727.  Notable increases from the prior year include:
      • Professional supports (immunizers) for mass vaccination clinics of $256,638;
      • Third party support for case and contact management of $698,476;
      • Third party support for call centre and other support services for case and contact management and vaccinations of $344,852.
    • Increase in Supplies and other in the amount of $420,131.  Notable increases from prior year include:
      • $134,974 increase in Mileage in 2021 incurred on account of staff working at mass vaccination clinics;
      • $285,157 increase in Supplies and other relate to program costs incurred on account of COVID-19 vaccination efforts.  Examples include:  a) Licensing for scheduling application and website support of $63,979; b) Personal Protective Equipment of $52,271; c) Sharps disposal costs of $41,438; d) Transportation of vaccines to health care providers of $10,452.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives

The annual audited financial statements for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives include financial information for the Nurse Practitioner Program and the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program for the period April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

The enclosed summary analytical review addresses material changes in financial statement captions year-over-year.

Statement of Financial Position:

  • Due from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit:  Refer to the statement of cash flow for details on the increase of $694,762 from March 31, 2022.
  • Due to Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services:  The amount outstanding is as follows:
    • Settlement for the year-ended March 31, 2022, in the amount of $734,310;
    • Settlement for the year-ended March 31, 2021, in the amount of $581,637.  This settlement was clawed back in April of 2022.

Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit:

Year-over-year variations in the financial results are primarily due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on service delivery for the period April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.  A substantial portion of the nursing staff that would historically support theses Programs were deployed to support the WECHU’s pandemic response including case and contact management and vaccinations.

A summary of the settlement with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is as follows:

Total Program expenses at March 31, 2022 $ 2,186,591
Non-admissible expenses  
Amortization (29,295)
Change in Employee Future Benefits Liability 20,045
Tangible capital asset additions 9,944
Other (26,754)
Total admissible expenditures $ 2,160,531
Ministry approval $ 2,894,841
Due to Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services $ 734,310

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, at the June 16, 2022, meeting, the Audit Committee of the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health reviewed the annual audited financial statements and recommended them to the Board for approval,

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve:

The annual audited financial statements of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for the year-ended December 31, 2021; and

The annual audited financial statements for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Program Initiatives for the year-ended March 31, 2022.


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JULY 14, 2022

ISSUE/PURPOSE

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is a statutory corporation created pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7 (HPPA).  The WECHU is not a registered charity as defined by Section 149 of the Income Tax Act.  As such, the WECHU is not eligible for certain funding, fundraising and cost-savings opportunities available to a registered charity. 

BACKGROUND

In 2012, previous Administration explored the WECHU becoming a registered charity, however, the application remained incomplete and registered charity status was no longer pursued.

Over the next three (3) to five (5) years, the WECHU will continue to experience budget constraints as it navigates operations in a post-COVID-19 environment.  Adding to this are the financial pressures associated with the Windsor Office Redevelopment Project.  As such, the WECHU needs to seek funding, fundraising and other cost-saving opportunities to assist in managing financial pressures.  Details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a registered charity are as follows:

Advantages:

  • Ability to apply for property tax rebates for owned or leased premises.
  • Ability to attract donations/funding.
  • Ability to receive rebates and deductions through participating third party vendors.
  • Additional grant opportunities.

Disadvantages:

  • Increased financial reporting responsibilities as the WECHU would be required to file an annual return.
  • Ensuring that the WECHU satisfies the disbursement requirements to maintain registered charity status.

Administration has concluded that the advantages of registered charity status out way any disadvantages noted and is therefore recommending that the WECHU move forward with its application.

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, the WECHU is not a registered charity as defined by Section 149 of the Income Tax Act, and

Whereas, registered charity status could result in additional funding, fundraising and cost-savings opportunities to the WECHU, and

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve Administration to proceed with the process of investigating and applying for registered charity status for the WECHU.


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June 16, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/KIRSwrSfXJ8

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Update  
    1. COVID-19 Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  May 19, 2022
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board By-Laws (N. Dupuis)
      1. Procurement Policy 
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS                                                                   
      1. Consumption and Treatment Services Site (N. Dupuis) 
      2. Recreational Water Quality Monitoring (K. McBeth)
      3. Legacy for Children – Prenatal Block Summary and Next Steps (E. Nadalin)
      4. Communications Update (April 2022 – May 2022)
    2. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS – None
  8. New Business
    1. Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Renewal Priority (N. Dupuis/D. Sibley)
  9. Correspondence
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or July 21, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment

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TITLE

Procurement Policy

DEPARTMENT

Finance

APPROVED BY

Chief Executive Officer/Board Of Health

DATE OF ISSUE

2019/05/31

ISSUE BY

Lorie Gregg, Director, Corporate Services

REVIEW/REVISE DATE:

2022/03/30


Disclaimer: printed versions of this document may be out of date. Always refer to the Policies and Procedures Intranet site for the most current versions of documents in effect.

Changes to previous version

Changes in the Procurement Policy include the following:

  • The five (5) core functions of the procurement process were consolidated into four (4), with Requisition and Method from the previous version combined under Execution.
  • Removed list of all exceptions under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), replace with link and reference to current requirement as per CFTA.  Definitions have been updated to reflect current terms utilized in the Procurement Policy.
  • Approval Authorities referenced in the previous Procurement Policy have been removed.  The Policy section of the current Procurement Policy summarizes estimated procurement values and provides guidance regarding the method of procurement that shall be undertaken.
  • All dollar thresholds in the Procurement Policy have been updated/increased.
  • Definitions, more specifically, Conflict of Interest, Fairness, Non-discrimination, and Settlements, have been updated to provide clarification.
  • Roles and responsibilities have been updated to include responsibilities specific to the Director of Corporate Services and the Finance Department.
  • The Execution section of the Procurement Policy provides additional guidance on the two types of non-competitive procurement and the circumstances in which either type would be considered acceptable.
  • Award/Regret Notification – This chart has been updated to include specific details required to be disclosed on the Health Unit’s website.
  • Other procurement circumstances provide guidance on approach to the procurement of real property, banking services, and insurance brokerage services.  Additional guidance has been included regarding use of the Vendor of Record with the Province of Ontario.
  • Payments – The frequency of issuance of cheques by the Finance Department as well as the reference to cheque signing authorities have been updated.
  • Removal of guidance on Request for Parking tokens and Cash on hand have been removed and will be addressed in a Cash Management Policy.

Purpose and Scope

As a publicly funded organization, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (Health Unit) is required to implement a Procurement Policy (the Policy).  The Policy shall support the strategic and operational requirements of the Health Unit; comply with legal and contractual obligations; manage and mitigate risk; create an environment of continuous improvement; yield the best value for money; be undertaken with fairness, honesty, and integrity; avoid the appearance of impropriety; be open and transparent; undertaken in a non-discriminative manner. 

Board Members and Health Unit staff must not:

  • Acquire any goods and services for personal use in representation of the Health Unit
  • Purchase or offer to purchase, on behalf of the Health Unit, any goods and services, except in a accordance with this Policy
  • Knowingly cause, permit or omit anything to be done or communicated to anyone which is likely to cause any potential Supplier to have an unfair advantage or disadvantage in obtaining a Contract for the supply of a good or service to the Health Unit, or any other either jointly or in cooperation with the Health Unit;
  • Knowingly cause, permit or omit anything to be done which will jeopardize the legal validity or fairness of a purchase under this policy, or which might subject the Health Unit to any claim, demand, action or proceeding as a result.

The WECHU should look to achieve some/all of the following goals in any procurement process:

  • To procure by purchase, rental or lease the required quality and quantity of goods and/or services, including consulting services in an efficient, timely and cost effective manner;
  • To consider all costs, including, but not limited to,  taxes, delivery, acquisition, operating, training, maintenance, quality, warranty, payment terms, disposal value and disposal costs, in evaluating bid submissions from qualified, responsive and responsible vendors
  • To give full consideration to the annual aggregate value or to consider the total project cost of specific goods and services that will be required by each department and by the Health Unit as a whole prior to determining the appropriate acquisition method;
  • When procuring goods, services and facilities, the Health Unit will comply with the requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its associated standards enacted through regulation, as well as related Health Unit polies and to encourage the procurement of goods and services with due regard for people with disabilities;
  • To monitor and report on the economic climate and legislative changes which may have an impact on the Health Unit and to determine the appropriate actions to be taken through purchasing policies and procedures;
  • To encourage the procurement of goods and services with due regard to the preservation of the natural environment, Suppliers may be selected  to supply goods made by  methods resulting in the least damage to the environment and supply goods incorporating recycled materials where practicable.
  • To investigate the purchase of energy efficient/advanced technology equipment, vehicles, supplies, and appliances wherever possible.

The Procurement Policy applies to all procurements except: i) professional services; ii) employee expenses; iii) governmental charges; iv) settlements; v) low value purchases; vi) other exceptions as defined by the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and other governing legislation or Ministry directives that may be in place from time-to-time.

Policy

The procurement process is broken down into four (4) phases:

Planning

  • Appropriate ness
  • Budget
  • Requirements
  • Procurement value

Execution

  • Method of procurement
  • Evaluation
  • Award/Notification

Contract Management

  • Supplier satisfies all requirements

Payment

  • Payment is authorized in accordance with Contract

When procuring goods or services, Health Unit staff shall adopt the type of procurement available based upon an estimate of the procurement value of the goods or services being considered.  The following are the required approaches based upon the estimated procurement value of the goods or services. 

Estimate Procurement Value ($)

Type of Procurement

Description

Approval

0 - 500*

 Not applicable.

 Not applicable.

Manager

Director (Director, Corporate Services)

500 – 7,500*

Non-competitive procurement

Solicitation of one quotation required (verbal or written)

 

Manager

Directors (Program, HR and Director of Corporate Services)

7,501 – 10,000

Non-competitive procurement

Competitive procurement

Solicitation of one quotation required (verbal or written)

Solicitation of three (3) quotations (verbal or written) by invitation

CEO

Manager

Directors (Program, HR and Director of Corporate Services)

10,001 – 100,000

Non-competitive procurement

Competitive procurement

Solicitation of one quotation required (written)

Solicitation of three (3) quotations (written) by invitation

Board

Manager

Directors (Program and HR, and Director of Corporate Services)

CEO

100,001 and up

Non-competitive procurement

Competitive procurement

Solicitation of one quotation required (written)

Solicitation for submissions posted publicly on Merx or other public platform

Board

Manager

Directors (Program and Director of Corporate Services)

CEO

*While procurements with estimated procurement values of $7,500 or less can be undertaken in a non-competitive manner, WECHU staff should always consider obtaining a minimum of three (3) quotations from Suppliers to ensure the WECHU is yielding the best value for money and that WECHU staff undertaking procurements are not in conflict (actual or perceived).

Definitions

AWARD

When a submission is formally accepted by the Health Unit, bringing an agreement into existence to be evidenced by a Contract or Purchase Order.

BEST VALUE

Approach that aims to deliver products and services with a lower total life cycle cost while maintaining a high standard.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A situation in which an employee has, or is perceived to have, personal or private interests that may compete with the interests of the Health Unit or the public interest. Such personal or private interests may make it difficult, or be perceived to make it difficult, for the employee to remain impartial. A conflict exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can either be an apparent (perceived) conflict or an actual conflict.

 

Apparent (Perceived) Conflict - Exists when an informed and reasonable person could conclude that a conflict of interest exists, whether or not an actual conflict does exist.

 

Actual Conflict - Exists where a personal or private interest exists and that interest:

1) Is known to the employee; and

2) Has a connection to the employee’s duties that is sufficient to influence the exercise of those duties.  

CONTRACT

A purchasing document to evidence an agreement for the purchase of Deliverables.  Standing Offers and Purchase Orders are forms of Contracts.

CONTRACT PRICE

The amount payable by the Health Unit pursuant to Contract / Purchase Order.

DELIVERABLE

The subject matter of a Contract / Purchase Order, including goods, services (including consulting and/or construction), which a Supplier is required to deliver pursuant to the Contract / Purchase Order.

CFTA

Canadian Free Trade Agreement (2017), with all Protocols and Amendments (2019)

FAIRNESS

The Health Unit must avoid situations or circumstances that could give a Supplier an unfair advantage in connection with a Contract / Purchase Order or compromise the ability of a Supplier to perform its obligations under the Contract in the event of an Award.  Examples include:  access to confidential information providing an unfair advantage; lobbying of the Health Unit; personal relationships between key personnel of the Supplier and the Health Unit personnel; pending or current litigation between the Supplier and the Health Unit; or outstanding or unpaid obligations owed by one party to the other.

NON-DISCRIMINATION

At all times, Health Unit staff shall be impartial and not extend preferential treatment to Suppliers when evaluating Submissions and identifying the successful Supplier.

PURCHASE ORDER

A standard Purchasing document issued by the Health Unit to a Supplier to evidence an agreement for the Purchase of Deliverables.

PURCHASE ORDER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The Purchase Order Terms and Conditions form part of every purchase order.  They take precedent over any and all previous verbal or written arrangements in connection with the subject matter of the Purchase Order.  The Purchase Order Terms and Conditions (Appendix A) will be posted on the Health Unit website.  A reference to those terms in conditions will form part of the Purchase Orders issued by the Health Unit using the following wording:  “The Purchase Order Terms and Conditions posted on the Health Unit’s website shall be incorporated into and form part of this Purchase Order.”

PURCHASING

Purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring Deliverables, including all functions that pertain to the acquisition, including planning, requisition, method of purchasing, contract management and payment.

RFI/I

Request for Information/Interest, a process used to research Purchasing, including which products and services are available, scope out business requirements, and/or estimate purchasing costs, among other things.

RFSQ

Request for supplier qualifications, a process used to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications, with the intention of creating a list of pre-qualified Suppliers for subsequent participation in an invitational RFS.

RFQ

Request for quotation, a process used to request Supplier responses to the supply of goods or services based on price and stated delivery requirements.

RFS

Request for submission, a process to request Supplier responses to supply goods or services based on stated delivery requirements, performance specifications, terms and conditions.  The Health Unit’s RFS template is designed to function as either a “RFP” or a “RFT”.

SOLICITATION

Refers to an RFQ and/or RFS

STANDING OFFER

A form of Contract requiring a Supplier to supply Deliverables on an “as required” basis pursuant to prearranged terms and conditions, including pricing over the term of the Standing Offer.  The Health Unit’s Standing Offers include such items as:  dental supplies; office supplies; clinic supplies; and maintenance supplies (building and/or housekeeping).

SUBMISSION

A response to and RFI/I, RFSQ, RFQ or a RFS issued by the Health Unit.

SUPPLIER

A person, corporation or other entity that responds, or intends to respond, to a RFI/I, RFSQ, RFQ or RFS issued by the Health Unit or provides goods or services to the Health Unit including, but not limited to, contractors, consultants, suppliers, service organizations, etc.

TOTAL LIFE CYCLE

An estimate or calculation that considers all direct and indirect Costs / Total LCC costs of a Deliverable over its useful life, from acquisition to disposal, including Contract / Purchase Order Price, implementation fees, upgrades, maintenance contracts, support contracts, license fees and disposal costs.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Services that may, by legislation or regulation, be provided only by any of the following licensed professionals:  medical doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, engineers, land surveyors, architects, accountants, lawyers and notaries.

EMPLOYER EXPENSES

General employer expenses including salaries and benefits; payroll deductions and remittances; training and education, including conferences and memberships; and reimbursable employee expenses.

GOVERNMENTAL CHARGES

Charges to and from other governmental bodies including federal, provincial and municipal.

ON-GOING PERIODIC CHARGES

General ongoing periodic charges such as in relation to mortgages, utilities, gas, communications, and banking.

SETTLEMENTS

Settlements for legal and or insurance and on account of reconciliations with funders.

LOW VALUE

Purchasing valued at less that $500.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) shall:

  1. Be responsible for the establishment, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the Procurement Policy.
  2. Management of all operations in material compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, orders, judgements and decrees, the Health Unit By-laws, Board resolutions, and all contractual obligations and commitments of the Health Unit.
  3. Provide notice to the Board of any material non-compliance with the above listed items forthwith and additionally in the CEO Quarterly Compliance Reporting.
  4. On an annual basis, report to the Board of Health details of all contracts awarded in excess of $50,000 including amendments and renewals.  The report shall certify that the procurements were undertaken in compliance with the Purchasing Policy.

The Leadership Team and Management Team (LT and MT) shall: 

  1. Abide by and enforce the Procurement Policy.
  2. Provide oversight and accountability for all procurement activities in their areas of responsibility.
  3. Provide notice of material non-compliance with the Procurement Policy to the director and/or the CEO, as appropriate.

The Director of Corporate Services, in addition to the responsibilities noted above, shall:

  1. Provide purchasing advice to the Health Unit Staff on account of their procurement activities;
  2. Ensure on-going training and education is administered to the Health Unit Staff with the Procurement Policy;
  3. Present the findings of the Procurement audit to the CEO, LT and Board, as appropriate, on an annual basis.

The Finance Department shall:

  1. Ensure procurement documentation (i.e. purchase or cheque requisitions) are appropriately supported and approved before processing for order or payment;
  2. Complete the necessary follow-up if procurement documentation is incomplete;
  3. Specifically, the Manager of Accounting and Financial Reporting shall audit, at least annual, procurements in accordance with Appendix Q, and report the findings of the Procurement Audit to the Director or Corporate Services.

The Health Unit Staff Shall:

  1. Abide by the Procurement Policy;
  2. Review the Procurement Policy annually and attend all required training.

Procedure

This section describes the four phases of the procurement process in further detail.

Planning:  In the planning phase, the Health Unit shall:

  • Ensure that the procurement is appropriate, in that it supports the strategic priorities or operational requirements of the Health Unit.
  • Determination if the procurement is or is not budgeted:  A manager, in consultation with their director, shall determine whether the procurement being undertaken is budgeted or unbudgeted.  Currently, the budgeting methodology does not require for each activity to be budgeted.  Therefore, for the purposes of understanding whether a procurement is or is not budgeted, reference should be made to the departmental budget line in totality.  For example, if Environmental Health is required to procure promotional items such as insulated bags, the Manager of that department would review their program supplies account to understand whether there is or is not sufficient dollars to procure these items, given all of the remaining activities to be addressed by the program.  If dollars do not exist, the Manager would consult with their director to understand whether additional funding exists at a corporate level that would permit the purchase. 
  • Procurement requirements:  In order to proceed with budgeted or unbudgeted purchasing, it may be necessary to retain further information about the Health Unit’s purchasing needs, the marketplace, or to create a pool of qualified Suppliers (in advance of the specific purchase). The following tools are available to facilitate the gathering of information:
    • RFI/I – In the event of insufficient information to adequately state purchasing objectives or adequately translate such objectives into specifications, if it is unclear generally as to Supplier capacity to deliver on objectives or specifications, or in the event it is unclear as to Supplier interest in a contemplated purchasing opportunity, raising concerns about likely level of Supplier response or questions with respect to the best method of purchasing, an RFI/I shall be used to gather such information.  Refer to Appendix B.
    • RFSQ’s – In the event it is desirable to:  reduce the number of Suppliers  eligible to make a Submission in response to a contemplated RFS to those most qualified; or create a list of Suppliers to be used for one or more future purchases, an RFSQ shall be used.  Refer to Appendix C.
  • Calculation of procurement value:  An estimate of the value of a procurement is required to determine the method of procurement.  When calculating the value of the procurement the following considerations must be understood:
    • Subdividing Purchasing:  It is not acceptable to take any action such as subdividing purchases to reduce the estimated Contract price or otherwise avoid or circumvent the application of any requirements.
    • Extensions and Renewals:  If a Contract includes a provision permitting extensions or renewals, the estimated Contract Price shall be based on the total term, including initial term and any possible extension or renewal term.  Extensions or renewals beyond what is provided for in the Contract shall be considered non-competitive Purchasing and appropriate approval authorities shall be required (i.e., approval by the Board).
    • Other incidentals:  If Contract includes a provision for other incidentals including installation, operation, maintenance or manufacture of such goods or travel costs, the Health unit shall consider including those costs in its evaluation.
    • Interim Increases:  In the event that an amount in connection with which an approval authority has been given increases after having been given but before it has been acted upon, then it shall be necessary to seek approval authority for the increased amount.
    • Standing Offers:  In connection with Standing Offers, the estimated total price of the  Deliverables over the course of the specified term of the Standing Offer shall be deemed to be the estimated Contract Price.
    • Taxes and Duties:  Threshold approval authorities for any of the functional roles as outlined in this Purchasing Policy or any other monetary thresholds described in this Purchasing Policy shall be exclusive of taxes and duties.

Execution:  The Purchasing method can broadly be divided into competitive purchasing and non-competitive purchasing.  It is non-competitive Purchasing when the Health Unit purchases from a single Supplier, without considering what any other suppliers in the marketplace may offer.  Non-competitive procurement can be further subdivided into single sourcing and sole sourcing.

The Health Unit may conduct a single source non-competitive procurement, provided that they do so not for the purposes of avoiding competition between suppliers or to discriminate against suppliers:

  • Where an unforeseeable situation or urgency exists and the goods or services cannot be obtained in time by means of open procurement procedures.  Failure to plan and allow sufficient time for a competitive procurement process does not constitute an unforeseeable situation of urgency;
  • Where goods or services regarding matters of a confidential or privileged nature are to be purchased and the disclosure of those matters through and open tendering process could reasonably be expected to compromise government confidentiality, cause economic disruption or otherwise be contrary to the public interest;
  • Where construction materials are to be purchased and it can be demonstrated that transportation costs or technical consideration impose geographic limits on the available supply base, specifically in the case of sand, stone, gravel, asphalt, compound and pre-mixed concrete for use in the construction or repair of roads;
  • Where compliance with the opening tendering provisions would interfere with the entities’ ability to maintain security or order or protect human, animal or plant life or health; and
  • In the absence of a receipt of any bids in response to a call for proposals or tenders.

The Health Unit may conduct a sole-source non-competitive procurement, where only one supplier is able to meet the requirements of a procurement, provided that they do not do so for the purpose of avoiding competition between suppliers or to discriminate against suppliers:

  • To ensure compatibility with existing products, to recognize exclusive rights, such as exclusive licenses, copyright and patent rights, or to maintain specialized products that must be maintained by the manufacturer or its representatives;
  • Where there is an absence of competition for technical reasons and the goods or services can be supplied only by a particular supplier and no alternative or substitute exists;
  • For the procurement of goods or services the supply of which is controlled by a supplier that is a statutory monopoly;
  • For the purchase of goods on a commodity market;
  • For work to be performed on or about a leased building or portions thereof that may be performed only by the lessor;
  • For work to be performed on property by a contractor according to provisions of a warranty or guarantee held in respect of the property or the original work;
  • For a contract to be awarded to a winner of a design contest;
  • For the procurement of a prototype of a first good or service to be developed in the course of and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development, but not for any subsequent purchases;
  • For the purchase of goods under exceptionally advantageous circumstances such as bankruptcy or receivership, but not for routine purchases;
  • For the procurement of original works of art;
  • For the procurement of subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals; and
  • For the procurement of real property.

Competitive Purchasing is when the Health Unit selects from among multiple offers from different Suppliers.  Competitive Purchasing can further be divided into open and invitational Purchasing.  It is open Purchasing when the supply opportunity is advertised publicly, such as on MERX, making it available to all qualified Suppliers.  It is invitational Purchasing when only selected Suppliers are invited to make Submissions.

Non-competitive procurement for purchase values ranging from $500 to $7,500, the following steps  will be undertaken:

  • Health Unit staff can solicit a quotation from one Supplier for the procurement.  The manner through which quotations are solicited, should be in writing, to ensure that specifications are clearly laid out.  The RFQ template (Appendix D) may be used but is not required.
  • Once the quotation is received from the Supplier, Health Unit staff must review to ensure that the quotation aligns with the specifications.
  • Health Unit staff must then complete a Purchase Requisition Form (Appendix E) and append the quotation to the form.  All fields in the form are required to be filled, including the name of the Supplier and all relevant contact information, the date, the program code and expense code, the quantity, description and price (per unit and aggregated), the sub-total, tax and after tax amounts.  Health Unit staff must identify themselves as the initiator of the purchase (signature, title, date).
  • Forward the Purchase requisition form to the individual recommending the Purchase for approval, typically the Manager and/or Director.  The individual recommending the Purchase would reconcile the quotation to the Purchase requisition form and confirm there is sufficient budget dollars to satisfy the Purchase.  Furthermore, the individual recommending the Purchase must verify that the program code and account number are accurate and identified appropriately. 
  • Forward the Purchase requisition form to the approver (Director).  The approver would confirm that the quotation reconciles to the Purchase Requisition form and flag any issues that he/she may be aware of for discussion with the individual recommending the Purchase before allowing it to proceed.    All procurement shall be reviewed by the Director of Corporate Services for reasonableness and appropriateness.

Non-competitive procurement for purchase values ranging from $7,501 and above, the following steps will be undertaken:

  • Non-competitive procurements will involve Manager, the Director, the Director of Corporate Services and the CEO.  The Manager and/or Director will provide justification for pursuit of this type of procurement to both the CEO and the Director of Corporate Services.  The circumstances associated with the procurement will be reviewed by the Director of Corporate Services, who will confirm the method of procurement.  For procurements $7,501 to $10,000, the Director shall discuss the procurement with the CEO, and if determined appropriate, the CEO shall approve.  For procurements $10,001 and above, the Director of Corporate Services will draft a resolution discussing the nature and rationale for such a procurement for review by the  Board Executive and approval by the full Board of Health.  To support the resolution, Health Unit staff would have undertaken the enclosed process to support the procurement value in the Board resolution:
    • The Manager and/or Director shall solicit a quotation from one Supplier for the procurement.  A quotation should be solicited in writing, ensuring that specifications are clearly and consistently laid out. 
    • Once the quotation is received from the Supplier, the Manager and/or Director must review to ensure that the quotation aligns with their specifications.
    • Provision of qualitative information in support of pursuing a non-competitive procurement. 
  • Once approval from the Board is received, the Manager and/or Director must then complete a Purchase Requisition Form (Appendix E) and append the quotation to the form.  Reference should be made in the description field of the Purchase Requisition of the Board’s approval, including the date of the meeting.  All fields in the form are required to be filled, including the name of the Supplier and all relevant contact information, the date, the program code and expense code, the quantity, description and price (per unit and aggregated), the sub-total, tax and after tax amounts.  The Manager or Director must identify themselves as the initiator of the Purchase (signature, title, date).
  • The Purchase requisition form must be forwarded to the individual recommending the Purchase for approval; in this circumstance, the Director.  The individual recommending the Purchase would reconcile the quotation to the Purchase requisition form and confirm there is sufficient budget dollars to satisfy the Purchase.  Furthermore, the individual recommending the Purchase must verify that the program code and account number are appropriate.
  • Forward the Purchase Requisition Form to the approver.  The approver would confirm that the quotation reconciles to the Purchase Requisition form and flag any issues that he/she may be aware of for discussion with the individual recommending the Purchase before allowing it to proceed.  For this type of procurement, the approver is the Director of Corporate Services.

Competitive procurement:  A competitive procurement is when the Health Unit selects from among multiple offers from different Suppliers.  Competitive procurement can further be subdivided into open and invitational Purchasing.

For invitational purchases, typically purchases valued between $7,501- $100,000, the Health Unit invites Suppliers to make quotations.  The Health Unit should ensure that its process around invitational competitive Purchasing is defensible.  When undertaking invitational competitive Purchasing, selection of Suppliers invited to respond must be defensible on the basis of merit.  For greater clarity, Health Unit staff responsible for issuing invitations shall not choose invitees based on personal reasons – to do so is acting in Conflict of Interest and is subject to discipline as such. 

The following steps will be undertaken:

  • Health Unit staff shall solicit a minimum of three quotations from Suppliers for the procurement.  Quotations should be solicited in writing, ensuring that specifications are clearly and consistently laid out for all Suppliers.  For procurements $7,501 to $10,000, a written solicitation is appropriate (i.e., email).  For procurements $10,001 to $100,000, Health Unit staff shall communicate in writing.  The solicitation shall be made using the RFQ template (Appendix D).  Note:  The RFQ template is a good guideline to ensure that Health Unit specifications for those lower dollar procurements ($7,501 to $10,000) are of sufficient detail.
  • Once Submissions have been received from the Suppliers, Health Unit staff would review the Submissions and determine the successful Supplier.  Given the nature of these procurements, the successful Supplier would be the Supplier with the lowest value bid that meets all of the Health Unit’s stated requirements.  For example, if the lowest bid Supplier is not able to deliver the product until after the Health Unit’s stated deadline requirements, the next lowest Supplier who meets all the requirements may be awarded the Contract.  Health Unit staff should consult with the Manager and/or Director if other criteria are used to evaluate a successful Supplier.  Those considerations/conclusions should be documented in the procurement documentation.  At all times, Health Unit staff shall be impartial and not extend preferential treatment to Suppliers when evaluating Submissions and identifying the successful Supplier (Health Unit Code of Conduct).
  • Health Unit staff must then complete a Purchase Requisition Form (Appendix E) and append the successful Submission to the form.  All fields in the form are required to be filled, including the name of the Supplier and all relevant contact information, the date, the program code and expense code, the quantity, description and price (per unit and aggregated), the sub-total, tax and after tax amounts.  Health Unit staff must identify themselves as the initiator of the Purchase (name, title, date).
  • Forward the Purchase requisition form to the individual recommending the Purchase for approval, typically the Manager and/or Director.  The individual recommending the Purchase would reconcile the quotation to the Purchase requisition form and confirm there is sufficient budget dollars to satisfy the Purchase.  Furthermore, the individual recommending the Purchase must verify that the program code and account number are accurate for the program of purchase.
  • Forward the Purchase Requisition Form to the approver (Director).  The approver would confirm that the quotation reconciles to the Purchase Requisition Form and flag any issues that he/she may be aware of for discussion with the individual recommending the Purchase before allowing it to proceed. 
  • Forward the Purchase Requisition Form to the Director of Corporate Services for additional review and approval, assessing the reasonableness and appropriateness of the procurement. 

For open purchasing, typically those purchases valued at $100,001 and greater, the procurement is advertised publicly, such as on MERX, Biddingo and the Health Unit Website, making it available for all qualified Suppliers.  The following steps will be undertaken:

  • The Director will identify a “Procurement Lead”.  This individual will be responsible for:  understanding the procurement requirements, completing or facilitating completion of the RFS document (Appendix F), be involved with communications between the Health Unit and Suppliers (i.e. amendments, questions, awarding of Contract, debriefing), the evaluation of Submissions (both compliance and quality), monitoring of Supplier performance, and confirmation of completion of work.
  • The Director, in consultation with the Procurement Lead, will identify the Evaluation Team.  All Evaluation Teams shall consist of the Procurement Lead, the Director of Corporate Services, and one other Health Unit staff (typically a content expert). 
  • The Procurement Lead, in consultation with the Director and the Evaluation Team, will compile the RFS (Appendix F).  Enclosed within the RFS are timelines that both the Health Unit and Suppliers must abide by.  In the event a circumstance arises that compromises the Health Unit’s ability to comply or changes the requirements of the procurement, the Procurement Lead, in consultation with the Evaluation Team, must revisit the terms and issue an Addendum (Appendix G).
  • The Procurement Lead, in consultation with the Evaluation Team, will compile the Evaluation Team Handbook (Appendix H), setting out the guidelines for the Evaluation Team’s approach to evaluating the individual Suppliers.  The Evaluation Team Handbook will also include a scoring tool to be populated when the Evaluation Team convenes.  This tool should be circulated to the Evaluation Team for review and approval prior to the closing date of the RFS.
  • Any questions that arise in advance of the closing of the RFS but before the query deadline will be addressed by the Procurement Lead in consultation with the Evaluation Team using the Responses to Supplier Questions Template (Appendix I).  At this juncture, the Director of Corporate Services may, with the consent of the CEO, consult with legal counsel for clarification.  Approved query responses will be posted as Addendums to the public website for all proponents to view.   
  • In the event RFS responses are required in “hard copy”, the Procurement Lead shall contact the Manager of IT/Facilities and provide the appropriate instructions on how documents will arrive and the expectations for those documents to be date stamped.  The Manager of IT will direct reception on the appropriate treatment of the responses from the Suppliers.
  • Upon closing the RFS, the Procurement Lead will review the Submissions to ensure that Submissions are in compliance with the time stipulated by the RFS.  If received after the closing time, the Submission will not be opened and will be rejected.  The Procurement Lead will use the Late Supplier Notification Template to communicate with those suppliers that submit late (Appendix J).  If received before the closing time, the Submission will be accepted, opened, copied and distributed to the Evaluation Team.  Similar procedures should be followed if the Supplier responses are received digitally.
  • The Evaluation Team will review the Supplier responses separately, first, for compliance with the requirements of the RFS, and secondly, for quality of the response.  These criteria should be clearly laid out in the Evaluation Team Handbook (Appendix H).
  • The Evaluation Team will meet to review the Submissions collectively.  The first component of the discussion will be to examine compliance of the Suppliers with the RFS requirements.  If matters of non-compliance are identified, the Evaluation Team will conclude on whether the non-compliance will/will not result in the exclusion of the Supplier from the remainder of the process.  This determination can be risky.  If the Health Unit fails to disqualify a Supplier when it should, other Suppliers may have a claim against the Health Unit.  However, if the Health Unit incorrectly disqualifies a Supplier, then that Supplier may have a claim against the Health Unit.  If there is any doubt as to the correct approach, legal counsel should be consulted.  The second part of the process is the evaluation of the quality of the Submissions with reference to the scoring tool prepared.  The Evaluation Team will share rankings and discuss their justification for how they scored.  An average of the Evaluation Team’s score will be the overall ranking of the Supplier in that specific category. 
  • Providing the RFS allows (which the template is designed to do), after compiling overall rankings, if it is determined that two or more Suppliers’ overall scores are within 10% or less, it is recommended that those Suppliers be invited for an interview (either in person or using electronic media).  The interview will be no more than 1 hour in length allowing 10 minutes for set up, 15 minutes for presentation and 30 minutes for questions from the Evaluation Team.  The majority of the questions shall be prepared in advance based upon the Supplier’s Submission.  Some flexibility should be given if content presented during the course of the Supplier’s presentation requires additional clarification.  Once all interviews are concluded, the Evaluation Team will meet to rank the Suppliers’ interview.  At this juncture, the overall ranking of the Suppliers will be updated to reflect interview scores.
  • At the conclusion of the Evaluation Process, the Procurement Lead will calculate the overall score by Supplier and collectively conclude on the successful Supplier.  
  • The Procurement Lead will use the Award Letter Template and Regret Letter Template as applicable and follow the policies set out in the applicable template (Appendices K and L respectively).  Furthermore, the Procurement Lead will post the Supplier name and if price was the only evaluation criterion, then also post the price on the Health Unit’s website. 
  • After formal notification of the Award, the Procurement Lead will:
    • Ensure the RFS Exhibit B – Contract form is appropriately completed and signed by the CEO of the Health Unit as well as a signing officer of the Supplier with the authority to bind the corporation.   Two hard copies of the Contract should be exchanged for signature, one copy for each respective party to the Contract.
    • Obtain the WSIB Clearance Certificate or Equivalent from the Supplier.
    • Obtain a Certificate of Insurance from the Supplier.
    • Establish a planning meeting (either in person or via teleconference) to confirm logistics and kick off the assignment.

Debriefing.  Debriefing shall only be offered if the solicitation contemplates debriefing or the Director of Corporate Services authorizes it.  The Debriefing Handbook shall be used for debriefings and the policies in that Handbook shall be followed (Appendix M).

In a competitive Purchase (invitational or open) the following should be noted:

Supplier Communications in Context of Competitive Purchasing.

For solicitations valued at $100,001 or Greater:

  • Meetings.  Supplier meetings for Purchasing valued at $100,001 and greater shall be managed as follows:
    • When meetings are part of the procurement requirements, there shall be a sign in process.
    • Any other requirements set out in the RFS, such as number of attendees from a bidder, shall be enforced.
    • Minutes of the Supplier meeting shall be recorded in the form of the Supplier Meeting Minutes Template (Appendix N) and posted on the Health Unit Website as soon as possible but in any event not later than four days prior to Closing.
    • If no meetings are contemplated by the RFS, then none shall be held.
  • Supplier Questions.  Supplier questions for Purchasing valued at $100,001 and greater shall be managed as contemplated by the RFS, using the Responses to Information and Clarification Requests and Questions Template.

No other Supplier communications shall be had.

For solicitations valued at less than $100,000:  Supplier meetings and questions for purchasing valued at less than $100,000 shall be managed informally, having regard to the requirement that Health Unit staff shall be fair and impartial and not extend preferential treatment to any Supplier.

Amendments to Competitive Purchasing Solicitations.  Amendments to competitive Purchasing solicitations valued at:

  • $100,001 or greater, shall be managed using the Addendum Template (Appendix G) and following the policies set out in that template; and
  • Less than $100,000, shall be managed informally, having regard to the requirement that Health Unit staff shall be fair and impartial and not extend preferential treatment to any Supplier.

In either circumstance, it may be necessary to give Suppliers an extension to allow adequate time to modify and re-submit their proposals.

Termination of Competitive Purchasing Solicitations.  Termination of competitive purchasing solicitations valued at:

  • $100,001 or greater, shall be managed using the Termination Template (Appendix O) and following the policies set out in that template; and
  • Less than $100,000, shall be managed informally, having regard to the requirement that Health Unit staff shall be fair and impartial and not extend preferential treatment to any Supplier.

Closing Procedures in Context of Competitive Purchasing.  The closing date and time in the context of competitive purchasing are of critical importance, as submissions received after that time shall not be opened or considered.  To manage Closing:

  • For solicitations valued at $100,001 or greater:
    • Submissions shall be date and time stamped immediately upon receipt and kept secure.
    • Suppliers whose submissions are late shall be notified with the Late Supplier Notification Template (Appendix J).
  • For solicitations valued at less than $100,000, shall be managed informally, having regard to the requirement that Health Unit staff shall be fair and impartial and not extend preferential treatment to any Supplier.

Evaluation of Submissions in Context of Competitive Purchasing.  Submissions for purchasing valued at:

  • $100,001 and greater, shall be evaluated as contemplated by the RFS, using the Submission Evaluation Handbook and following the policies set out in that Handbook.  The Purchase Lead shall:
    • Create an Evaluation Team Handbook using the Evaluation Team Handbook Template (Appendix H).
    • Distribute the Evaluation Team Handbook to the Evaluation Team.
  • Less than $100,000, shall be managed informally, having regard to the requirement that Health Unit staff shall be fair and impartial and not extend preferential treatment to any Supplier.

Award/Regret Notification.  For competitive Purchasing notification of Award or regret, shall be undertaken as follows:

Contract / PO Price

                   Form

               Posting

$100,001 and greater

Use Award Letter Template and Regret Letter Template as applicable and follow the policies set out in the applicable template.

Post Supplier name and if price was the only evaluation criterion, then also post price on Health Unit Website

The posting shall include:

  • A description of goods or services procured;
  • The name and address of the procuring entity;
  • The name and address of the successful supplier;
  • The value of the successful submission;
  • The date of the award.

$10,000 - $100,000

Use Award Letter Template and Regret Letter Template as applicable and follow the policies set out in the applicable template.

No requirement

$500 - $9,999

Manage informally.

If Deliverables are other than goods or consulting services, then consider request for evidence of WSIB or explanation if not applicable and standard insurance coverage.

No requirement

Other procurement circumstances

Banking services:  The Health Unit shall periodically, but not longer than ten (10) years, complete an open competitive procurement to secure the services of a financial institution in which the money or other financial instruments of the Health Unit shall be placed for safekeeping.

Insurance broker:  The Health Unit shall periodically, but not longer than ten (10) years, complete an open competitive procurement to secure insurance brokerage services that will facilitate the Health Unit to secure insurance coverage that is consistent with the sector norms for like organizations and other such services as determined from time to time by the CEO. 

Vendor of Record and Procurement through a Buying Group

A Vendor of Record (“VOR”) arrangement is a list of vendors resulting from a procurement process that meets the requirements of the government procurement directive.  This type of arrangement allows for one or more vendors to offer specific goods or services to buyers.  This arrangement is valid for a specified period of time under defined terms and conditions and is typically established through a request for proposal process through an electronic tendering system.  The Health Unit would qualify to use the Ontario VOR arrangements depending upon the nature of the arrangement.  Certain arrangements can allow the Health Unit to access pricing.  Certain of the arrangements allows the Health Unit to access vendors however it must enter into its own agreement based upon its procurement levels. In this instance the VOR listing would be used a pre-qualification listing for which the Health Unit would base their procurements upon.

Procurement through a Buying Group is permitted under the CFTA.  A Buying Group is defined as “a group of two or more members that combines the purchasing requirements and activities of the members of the group into one joint procurement process.  Buying groups include cooperative arrangements in which individual members administer the procurement function for specific contracts for the group and more formal corporate arrangement in which the buying group administers procurement for group members.  Buying groups may consist of a variety of entities, including any combination of procuring entities, private sector entities, or not-for-profit organizations.” [CFTA Article 520 – Government Procurement – Specific Definitions].  Depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding a procurement, there may be an opportunity for the Health Unit to leverage off of, or participate in, a Buying Group.  

A buying group shall publish a notice of each procurement, listing the participating procuring entities and outlining the potential for other procuring entities to participate after the procurement is put in place.

Contract/PO Management and Fulfillment

In order to ensure the Health Unit Purchasing expectations are met, it is critical that Contracts be pro-actively managed by the Health Unit.

Management goals – Contracts/PO’s shall be managed responsibly and effectively to:

  • Ensure Deliverables delivered.
  • Ensure timelines met.
  • Ensure specifications met.
  • Ensure performance evaluations conducted on a fair and timely basis.
  • Identify performance issues on a timely basis.
  • Resolve performance issues on a timely basis.
  • Contribute to the process of continuous quality improvement.
  • Maintain productive working relationships with Suppliers.
  • Reduce the potential for disputes and legal action.
  • Ensure accepted Deliverables are properly reflected in the Health Unit asset inventories as appropriate.

For procurements valued $500 to $25,000, the initiator of the Purchase, in conjunction with their Manager, are responsible for managing the Contract management goals.  If during the course of the Contract performance and quality issues are identified, the Manager shall consult with the Director of Corporate Services on how best to rectify deficiencies (i.e. return of goods; credit; etc.). 

For procurements valued $25,000 and greater, the Procurement Lead will be responsible for monitoring Supplier performance.  Having regard to the Contract management goals, the Procurement Lead shall monitor Supplier performance:

  • As reasonably required, having regard to the value of the Purchase and associated risk if performance is not satisfactory;
  • Upon completion of milestones related to the Purchase; and
  • Prior to any payment being made to the Supplier.

The Procurement Lead shall report to the Director of Corporate Services upon becoming aware of any circumstances that have occurred or risks which look reasonably likely to occur, and are reasonably likely to have a material adverse impact.  Material adverse impacts are those that threaten the delay of purchase milestones by more than 10%; threaten to increase the cost by more than 10%; or threaten to create hazardous or dangerous conditions to health or safety either in the short, mid or long-terms.

Payment

As an organization funded by taxpayers with a mission to work with the community to promote, protect and improve health and well-being for all, it is critical that the Health Unit be a responsible steward of all funds entrusted to it and that payments made to Suppliers are appropriate and managed within the system that ensures the Health Unit’s responsible management of funds.  

To achieve this, the individuals involved with the procurement process must:

  • Abide by the procurement policies, including ensuring that appropriate steps are taken to procure products or services and obtain appropriate approvals throughout the process;
  • Monitor and/or review to ensure that the Supplier is abiding by the terms of the Contract.  This includes following up to ensure that the Supplier is abiding by timelines for delivery and reviewing the products and or services to ensure they meet the procurement specifications. 
  • Communicate to the Finance Department that there were deficiencies with Deliverables and whether to proceed with payment or defer until deficiencies are rectified (e.g. through provision of appropriate product; provision of discount; etc.).

In summary, payment can be made in the following manner:

  • Payment by corporate credit card – Payment of any procurement on the corporate credit card will be undertaken by the Corporate Services Division, more specifically the Finance Department and/or the Executive Assistants to the Leadership Team.  Payment must be supported as directed by the procurement method as discussed above.  On a monthly basis, all Purchases are reconciled by the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Corporate Services and subject to review and approval for payment, by the Director of Corporate Services and the CEO.  Payments on account of the corporate credit card are completed monthly by Pre-Authorized Payment (“PAP”) or more frequently using Electronic Funds Transfer (“EFT”).  These payments must be supported by a Corporate Card Payment Requisition signed by the Director of Corporate Services and the CEO.
  • Payment by Cheque:
    • Payment by cheque or EFT supported by cheque requisition – These procurements must be supported by a cheque requisition signed by the appropriate signing authorities as well as the invoice.  All cheque requisitions must include the following sign offs:
      • Signature and title of the Initiator of the Purchase, as well as the date of completion of the cheque requisition by the Initiator.
      • Signature and title of the Recommender (typically the Manager or the Director) as well as the date of their review of the cheque requisition and support (i.e. invoice).
      • Signature and title of the Approver (typically the Director), as well as the date of their review of the cheque requisition and support (i.e. invoice).
    • Payment by cheque, supported by purchase requisition – These procurements must be supported by a purchase requisition signed by the appropriate signing authorities as well as the invoice in support.  If Health Unit staff, other than the Finance Department, receive invoices directly for items that have been procured through a purchase requisition, they should forward the invoice to the Finance Department for payment.  Finance will append the invoices to the approved purchase requisition.
    • Dollar variances in purchase requisitions – Each Manager(s) should make every effort to ensure that pricing information, as well as product codes, should be reflective of latest available information.  In the event that actual pricing differs from pricing on the requisition, the Finance Department will identify the variance on the pink copy of the purchase requisition form and return it to the Manager for review and to ensure that internal financial tracking is appropriately updated.  The pink copy of the purchase requisition will be returned, upon receipt of the final invoice for goods received or services rendered by the Finance Department.
    • Payments by cheque are issued by the Finance Department a minimum of twice monthly.
    • Cheques are signed by any two signing authorities, the Director of Corporate Services, the CEO, and Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer.  The Director of Corporate Services and CEO are responsible for ensuring that all documentation is reviewed and approved by all parties and that the expenses are appropriate, in that they help to achieve the Health Unit’s own objectives. 

Approach to procurements that fall under exceptions, excluding salaries

Authorization of these transactions typically occurs through contractual obligation.  The CEO is permitted to bind the Health Unit.  Review of contractual obligations will typically involve the relevant Manager and Director, and the Director of Corporate Services from a financial perspective.  Additional review may be required by legal counsel. 

In terms of billing, the following process has been established:

  • The invoice or other supporting document (i.e. Contract, Oral Health Department DDS Time Sheet; Tobacco Test Shopper Time Sheets) submitted by Supplier to the Health Unit. 
  • The Manager will review the invoice or supporting document for accuracy, completeness and achievement of all procurement management goals (refer to the definition in the Contract/PO Management and Fulfillment section of the policy).
  • The Manager will complete a Cheque Requisition Form (Appendix P) and append the invoice or supporting documentation.  All fields prompted in the form are required to be filled, including the name of the Supplier and all relevant contact information, the date, the program code and expense code, the quantity, description and price (per unit and aggregated), the sub-total, tax and after tax amounts.  The Manager must identify themselves as the initiator of the Purchase (signature, title, date).
  • Forward the Cheque Requisition Form to the individual with direct authority to recommend the Purchases, typically the Director.  The Director will review and confirm that the invoice or supporting documentation reconciles to the Cheque Requisition Form and flag any issues that he/she may be aware of before proceeding with payment.  The Director must identify themselves as the recommender of the Purchase (signature, title, date).
  • Forward the Cheque Requisition Form to the approver.  For purchases of $0 to $10,000 the approver will be the Director of Corporate Services.  For purchases of $10,001 and above, the approver will be both the Director of Corporate Services and the CEO.  The approver will include their signature, as well as the date of their review of the Cheque Requisition form, invoice or other supporting documentation.

Delivery of goods

Goods can be ordered by Health Unit staff at the department level or by the Accounts Payable Clerk in the Finance Department.  When goods are ordered, it is imperative that Health Unit staff ask the following questions of the Suppliers:

  • What is the size of the delivery (number of boxes; size of.)?
  • How will it be delivered (individual boxes; skid; etc.)?
  • When will the delivery arrive (date and approximate time)?

If Health Unit staff determine that the delivery is a significant volume (i.e. 100 boxes of product “x”), it is imperative that a ticket be logged with Facilities Department to advise them of the size of the order and the delivery date.  It is also imperative to advise the Facilities Department whether the goods are required to be maintained on site or in off-site storage.  The Health Unit needs to appropriately plan for large orders given the lack of on-site storage space. 

Review

The Procurement Policy shall be reviewed at a minimum of every two (2) years.  Revisions to the Procurement Policy shall be approved by the Board.

Retention

All procurement activities governed by Procurement Policy applies shall be documented and retained in accordance with the Health Unit’s Record Retention Policy. 

Audit

All procurement activities governed by the Procurement Policy shall be audited in accordance with the Audit Guidelines included in Appendix Q. Audit procedures shall be completed on a quarterly basis, with findings reported to the Board quarterly.

Compliance

Failure to comply with this Policy and any associated Procedures may result in appropriate disciplinary measures.  Please see WECHU’s Discipline Policy.

Related Documents

Canadian Free Trade Agreement https://www.cfta-alec.ca/canadian-free-trade-agreement/

 


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PREPARED BY:

Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention

DATE:

June 16 2022

SUBJECT:

Consumption and Treatment Services Site Update


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

Opioid and drug-related morbidity and mortality has continued to rise at alarming rates across Windsor-Essex County. In 2021, the region observed a total of 61 opioid-related deaths and from January to May 22nd of the current calendar year, a total of 90 opioid overdoses were recorded across the region.

On April 1, 2019  the Board of Health of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) passed a resolution in support of public health-led assessment of the feasibility of a Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) site in the City of Windsor. In September of the same year, the WECHU Board of Health passed a resolution supporting the submission of a Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) application for a site in the City of Windsor. The submission for a proposed site must be made to the provincial Ministry of Health, as well as a submission of an Exemption for Medical Purposes under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for Activities at a Supervised Consumption Site Application required by Health Canada. In order to complete the required application documents a physical location was required to be identified and provided. After review of over 30 properties, ultimately two (101 Wyandotte St. East and 628 Goyeau Ave.) were brought forward to the community for subsequent consultation and feedback.

On June 17th of 2021, the WECHU in partnership with representatives on the advisory committee and the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid & Substance Strategy, launched a site-specific community consultation to gather community feedback about two candidate locations for a local Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) facility. The consultation yielded local support for a potential CTS facility at both of the candidate locations. A majority of survey respondents indicated that they would provide at least some degree of support for a CTS facility at 101 Wyandotte Street East and/or 628 Goyeau Street and most providing equal support for both locations.

On January 17th, 2022 the WECHU with a series of community partners attended the City of Windsor Council meeting to request an endorsement of the first candidate site (628 Goyeau Ave) as the region’s first CTS facility and received support. The WECHU and the property owner of 628 Goyeau were not able to reach a to a final lease agreement. Negotiations were initiated with the property owner at the second candidate site (101 Wyandotte Street East) for the purposes of securing a lease. The WECHU was successful in obtaining a lease for the 101 Wyandotte Street East location. In order to proceed with applications for a permanent CTS, endorsement of the local Municipality is required. On May 30th the City of Windsor Council voted in favour of a motion to approve and provide endorsement for the CTS located at 101 Wyandotte St. East in Windsor.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Urgent Public Health Needs Site (UPHNS):

With a lease at 101 Wyandotte secured, the WECHU submitted an application for an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, to operate an Urgent Public Health Needs Site (UPHNS) at this location, which allows for supervised consumption in a designated facility during the period in which the CTS applications await federal and provincial approval.  Pending the approval of Health Canada for the UPHNS, the WECHU will collaborate with the Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre (WECHC) to establish and operate a temporary UPHNS at 101 Wyandotte Street East. UPHNS and CTS sites share a similar goal of reducing overdose deaths through the provision of supervised consumption services. UPHNS, however, can be established more immediately than CTS sites and are a short-term response to address an urgent public health need. Additionally, UPHNS are not mandated to offer the additional wraparound services that are required through the Ontario Ministry of Health’s CTS program model, which is inclusive of substance use treatment, mental health, primary care, and other health and social services. While these services are not required to operate the local UPHNS, the WECHU and the WECHC are currently collaborating with local community partners to assess opportunities to offer such services at the proposed UPHNS in order to increase access to immediate supports for people who use substances and to ensure a seamless transition of the site into the proposed CTS in the future. This process will include the development of Service Agreements and Memorandum’s of Understanding with participating community agencies and service providers.

Since the WECHU’s submission of the UPHNS application, a query was received from Health Canada with regards to additional information required for the application and the WECHU has begun work to address these queries. The WECHU is currently awaiting a response from Health Canada as it relates to this correspondence, and is committed to addressing any future needs that may arise throughout the application completion process. The UPHNS will be funded through the WECHU’s 2022 operating budget for mandatory programs and services with in-kind supports through the WECHC and other partners. The WECHU administration is currently working with legal services to develop a service agreement for the operations of the UPHNS.

Permanent Consumption and Treatment Services Site:

Once the resolution endorsing the CTS at 101 Wyandotte is received, the WECHU will update, finalize, and submit the provincial and federal CTS applications to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Canada for approval to establish a permanent CTS site at this location and application for funding. The application will include intent to apply for capital expenditures including plans for re-designing and renovating the space for the CTS operations (i.e., floor planning, capital budgeting). In addition, a plan will be developed for engaging the community on an ongoing basis regarding the operations of the CTS, developing ongoing communications and public education materials about the CTS (e.g., regular reports to the Board of Health, WECOSS website communications), and other key plans. Terms of Reference will be developed in order to sustain the operations of the CTS Stakeholder Advisory Committee on an ongoing basis and MOU’s with key service providers will be explored.

For additional information and ongoing updates regarding local CTS activities, please visit https://wecoss.ca/consumption-and-treatment-site/


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PREPARED BY:                   

Environmental Health

DATE:                                 

June 16, 2022

SUBJECT:                            

Recreational Water Quality Monitoring


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

As part of the requirements in the Recreational Water Protocol, 2019, the Health Unit conducts pre-operational, required, and re-inspections (if needed) of public recreational water facilities such as public pools, splash pads, spas, and public beaches.

The chart below is a summary of the number and type of public recreational water facilities that the Health Unit regularly inspects.

Type of Facility

Total in WEC

Spa

19

Spray/ Splash Pad

29

Pools

Class A

Class B

Class C

 

23

81

10

Water Slide

3

Wave Action Pool

2

Public Beach

9

Recreational Water Facilities Inspections

The chart below is a summary of the number and types of inspections completed in 2021 and 2022 (up to May 24, 2022) at the various recreational facilities in WEC.

Type of Inspection

# of inspections completed in 2021

# of inspections completed 2022

(data pull from May 24, 2022)

Pre-Operational Inspections

67

25

Required

143

77

Re-Inspection

48

10

Beach Inspections

163

n/a

2021 Beach Testing Summary

The 2021 beach testing season was a total of 17 weeks long. Testing began on May 31, 2021 and concluded on September 20, 2021.  Public Health Inspectors completed 163 on-site beach inspections in 2021. There were 49 water quality warnings (>200/100 mL water) issued and 7 closures (>1000/100 mL water) issued.



Name of Beach                                Warnings (2021)  Closures (2021)
Belle River Beach                                                          8      2
Cedar Beach                                                                  5        1
Cedar Island Beach                                                 3         1
Colchester Beach                            6 0
Holiday Beach                                    3 0
Mettawas Beach                                12 2
Point Pelee North West Beach            2 0
Sandpoint Beach                                 6 1
Seacliff Beach                                      4 0
     
TOTAL                                              49 7

DISCUSSION

EH Priority Areas and Activity Adjustments

As of May 2, 2022, the priority areas for Safe Water inspections are for beach testing, outdoor opening of pools/spas/splash pads (minimum of 1/year) and indoor operational pools/spas/splash pads (minimum of 2 per year).  The frequency of inspections will be adjusted due to staffing challenges and will be reassessed based on need throughout the season.

Beach Assessments and Testing

The 2022 pre-season beach assessments were completed at all nine public beaches on May 9, 2022 by Public Health Inspectors. Regular weekly water sampling began on May 24, 2022.

Beach water sampling takes place on Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday). Public Health Inspectors take five water samples from along the beachfront and submit these samples to the public health lab in London, Ontario for bacteriological testing.  Beach water quality results from Monday’s sampling are uploaded on Thursday to the Beach Water Testing page (https://wechu.org/your-environment/beaches-pools-and-spas/beaches) and on the Beach Hotline (ext. 426). If the beach is closed due to high E. coli levels (>1000/100 mL of water), the beach will be resampled on Wednesday of the same week and results made available by end of day Friday.

 


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PREPARED BY:                   

Healthy Families Department

DATE:                                 

June 16, 2022

SUBJECT:                            

Legacy for Children™- Prenatal Block Summary and Next Steps


BACKGROUND

In February 2022, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) in partnership with Connections Early Years Family Centre became the first organization in Canada to offer the Legacy for Children™ (Legacy) pilot program. Legacy is an evidence-based group intervention designed to improve child health and development by fostering positive parenting among low-income mothers of infants and young children. The Legacy model was developed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, and was modified by WECHU staff to apply to a Canadian audience. 

Legacy for Children™ is implemented over a three year period with mothers joining the program during their last trimester of pregnancy and continuing until their child is three years of age. Each year that participants are involved, they are offered three “blocks” of ten weekly sessions alternating between mother-only and mother-child sessions. Each session is facilitated by a WECHU Social Worker and Public Health Nurse who deliver educational messaging, tips, and tools related to attachment, language, social skills, discipline, literacy, health/safety, and play. Evidence from the United States has shown that participating in the Legacy program has led to:

  • Increased parenting knowledge and information;
  • Increased confidence among participants in their parenting responsibilities and abilities;
  • Increased positive parenting practices among participants;
  • Increased participants’ sense of community;
  • Promoting optimal growth and development among participating children; and
  • Promoting optimal social and emotional development among participating children.

Following the successful implementation of the first “Prenatal” block described below, the WECHU has continued to recruit families for participation in subsequent sessions.

DISCUSSION

Traditionally an in-person program, WECHU staff modified the initial “Prenatal Block” to be delivered online for a smaller group of program participants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a series of promotional programs, community networks, and self-referrals, the WECHU screened eight interested pregnant mothers for eligibility, with three meeting the requirements to enter the program. Curriculum included in the Prenatal Block intended to start developing a sense of community and to build knowledge about responsible parenting behaviours. The topics covered during the block included, fetal development, physical changes pregnant women experience, exploring one’s beliefs and traditions about pregnancy, preparing for baby’s birth, labour and delivery, infant feeding, preparing for the hospital, and coming home after the hospital. Throughout the five session Prenatal Block participating mothers actively engaged in group discussions and activities, bonded with one another, validated each other’s concerns and feelings, and committed to staying in contact during breaks between blocks of the program. Initial feedback from the launch of the Prenatal Block was positive with one participant providing the below testimonial:

“As the time of my delivery was coming closer day by day, I was thinking a lot about what I have to do. I needed someone to help me and give me suggestions and advice, especially because due to [the] pandemic a lot of things have changed.  But because of these sessions and the guidelines from respective health unit organizers, everything's become easier for me, and I feel relief because I know I have support from all of them when I need any help.  I really appreciate your efforts and the guidelines which really help me before and after my delivery. “

Since the completion of the Prenatal Block, an additional seven referrals have been received through ongoing promotion and recruitment both within WECHU social media accounts and through partnering agencies. At the time of writing this report, the WECHU intends to offer a hybrid model for subsequent blocks of the program to accommodate participants who choose to attend in-person at the Connections Early Years Family Center with the online version still available for those who prefer this option. Connections Early Years Family Center will also provide childcare for in-person participants. To date, a total of seven participants are registered for the next block (Block One), and promotion is ongoing. Recruitment will end in January 2023 and eligibility is open to new moms who had a baby in March, April, or May 2022. The goal of Block One is to promote mothers’ sense of (parenting) community, supporting parental responsibility, parental investment, and a devotion of time and energy to parenting. Topics covered during Block 1 include, adjusting to life with the newborn, identifying parenting attributes, exploring challenges of parenting, infant states of awareness, regulating infants’ states, reading and responding to babies’ cues, infant feeding, self-care, and play.

Evaluation data will be collected at various points throughout this three year program, and from various evaluation tools including a Parent Satisfaction Survey, Parent Engagement Form, Parent Group Summary Form, and various Ages and Stages (developmental) questionnaires.


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PREPARED BY:

Communications Department

DATE:

June 16, 2022

SUBJECT:

April 15 – May 14, 2022 Communications Update


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Provide regular marketing and communication updates to the Board of Health.

SOURCE

APRIL 15 – MAY 14

MARCH 15 – APRIL 14

DIFFERENCE

News Releases, Media Advisories and Statements, or Notifications Issued

26

36

-10

Media Requests Received

22

23

-1

Wechu.org page views

198,676

302,147

-103,471

YouTube Channel Subscribers

1,748

1,754

-6

Email Subscribers

7,996

8,037

-41

Emails Distributed

19

40

-21

Facebook Fans

18,650

18,648

+2

Facebook Posts

106

146

-40

Twitter Follower

8,627

8,590

+37

Twitter Posts

98

141

-43

Instagram Followers

1,451

1,451

0

Instagram Posts

42

43

-1

LinkedIn Followers

1,111

1,091

20

LinkedIn Posts

53

83

-30

Media Exposure

501

572

-71

Data Notes can be provided upon request.

Media Exposure Overview Graph

June 2022 Media Exposure

Website Overview Graph

June 2022 Website Overview

DISCUSSION

June 2022 Website Overview Current notable projects that the Communication’s department is actively working on include the promotion of the active tick surveillance program. A media event took place on Wednesday, May 11 at Ojibway Nature Centre and a subsequent news release was issued following the event.

We placed a Windsor Star advertisement informing the community that between May 23 and October 31, 2022, a mosquito larviciding program will be conducted to reduce mosquito populations in Windsor and Essex County.

The Communications department is maintaining marketing and communication efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the region with our partners. In particular, the COVID-19 pop up clinics in the community and at WECHU offices.


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Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Aldo DiCarlo, Mark Ferrari (4:13 pm), Judy Lund, Robert Maich, Ed Sleiman

Board Member Regrets:

Gary Kaschak

Administration Present:

Nicole Dupuis, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Lorie Gregg, Felicia Lawal, Kristy McBeth, Eric Nadalin, Lee Anne Damphouse

Administration Regrets:              

Dan Sibley


QUORUM: Confirmed

 

  1. Call to Order
    The Chair, G. McNamara called the Regular meeting to order at 4:05 pm.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  4. Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr. Nesathurai noted that COVID-19 disease activity is lower, but we still need to be cautious as the pandemic is not yet over and we may see a resurgence of the virus in the fall.  There is some increased activity with Influenza, mainly due to the lifting of various public health measures.

      Dr. Nesathurai provided a brief update on Monkeypox, noting that it is part of the Smallpox family.  It was discovered in monkeys in 1958, and the first human case was reported in 1970.  Monkeys are likely not the natural reservoir of the disease, but generally rodents are, although this is up for debate.

      Symptoms of Monkeypox include feeling unwell, a rash, fatigue, headache, fever, chills and muscle aches and the rash can persist for 2-4 weeks. There are medicines that can be obtained for the illness, and if one is exposed to the disease they can be vaccinated against it. Monkeypox can be transmitted from person to person through the rash, by inanimate objects (i.e. sheets, towels) and from sexual and intimate close contact. It can also be transmitted through respiratory particles. Individuals are most infectious when they have lesions.  If you become infected with Monkeypox you will need to self-isolate or quarantine during the infectious period.  If an individual in your home has Monkeypox we monitor them for 3 weeks.  We do not ask them to quarantine, but to be responsible and not engage in unnecessary interaction, and they can attend school and work.

      From a public health risk point of view there are 29 recognized or confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Ontario. Most of the cases are in Toronto, but there are cases in other areas across the province. Most cases are among communities where men are having sex with men, but it is not limited to those communities.  We need to be cautious around stigma but we also need to provide any known public health risks. At this time the risk of Monkeypox to the community is low, we have a vaccine and we have medical treatment. We have a management plan and that will be refined as we know more about Monkeypox.

      T. Bailey noted that there was a Clinician Update posted to the WECHU website on May 26, 2022, and asked if the information shared today be posted to assist in community awareness.  N. Dupuis noted that this is already underway.  The Clinician Update was information provided by the province and we have direction to continually update our website, and prepare it in plain language so the average person can understand the disease, the symptoms and the risks that the public needs to be aware of.

      J. Bachetti asked what messaging can we give to parents for the 12-17 year age group who have not received their COVID booster shot, since there is the concern about a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.  Dr. Nesathurai said with the vaccine comes waning immunity and would encourage individuals to keep up to date with vaccinations. There is also the added pressure on the health system if we see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The emergency rooms are full and there should be messaging that there could be resource and capacity challenges come the fall.

      The question was asked why the COVID vaccine is required more frequently, compared to other vaccines, and also if the vaccine has any affect on the menstrual cycle. Dr. Nesathurai noted that he was not a vaccine expert, but some vaccines give life-long immunity, while others do not.  Like influenza, COVID-19 changes, meaning the vaccine formula also needs to change.  The virus changes, resulting in the vaccine having a time limit.  Moving forward we need to normalize lives to live with COVID through public health measures and regular vaccinations.  

      He also noted that there does not seem to be any completed evidence that COVID -19 vaccines have an effect on the menstrual cycle. N. Dupuis said that this has been reviewed by Public Health Ontario and we can share some of these reports.  So far, evidence does not support that claim.

      Motion: That the information be received.
      CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  May 19, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
      CARRIED
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-laws (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)
      1. Procurement Policy

        N. Dupuis said that the Procurement Policy is being brought to the board for review. The policy will be brought back with other by-laws for approval.

        L. Gregg walked through the key aspects of the policy.  We have identified that the policy review period will be every two (2) years, or more frequently if appropriate.  Any non-competitive procurement requiring board approval would be reviewed in detail by administration before being brought to the Board for approval.

        Motion: That the information be received.
        CARRIED

  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Communications Update (April – May 2022)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      2. Legacy for Children – Prenatal Block Summary and Next Steps (E. Nadalin)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      3. Regional Water Quality Monitoring (K. McBeth)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      4. Consumption and Treatment Service Site (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

        Motion: That the information be received.  
        CARRIED

    2. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS – None
  8. New Business
    1. Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Renewal Policy (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis provided the Board with a brief update on pandemic mental health and wellbeing.  As we move to the renewal phase, mental health was identified as a priority not only externally within the community, but also for our WECHU staff.  The following motion was discussed in Committee of the Whole:

      MOTION: That the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approves two Mental Health days for all employees of the WECHU that may be used for paid time away from work in the 2022 calendar year.
      CARRIED

    2. July Board of Heath Meeting Scheduling (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis advised there are various items that need to be brought to the Board for discussion and approval prior to the scheduled July 21, 2022 Board of Health meeting. N. Dupuis requests that the July Board of Health meeting be rescheduled to an earlier date to address various issues in a timely manner.

      MOTION: That the July 21, 2022 Board of Health meeting be rescheduled to an earlier date, preferably Thursday, July 14, 2022, on the basis that quorum can be reached.    
      CARRIED

  9. Correspondence – None
  10. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:45 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:05 pm
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, July 14, 2022, or as determined by quorum – Via Video
  12. Adjournment
    Motion:  That the meeting be adjourned.   
    CARRIED

     

     

     

    The meeting adjourned at 5:20 pm.


RECORDING SECRETARY: L. Damphouse

SUBMITTED BY: N. Dupuis

APPROVED BY: The Board of Health - July 14, 2022
 


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May 19, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/Z7PoGto0M6M

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Update
    1. COVID-19 Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: April 21, 2022
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-laws (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)
      1. By-Law #2 – Finance
      2. By-Law #3 – Management of Real Property
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Renewal and Transformation:  A Short-Term Vision for Public Health Priorities and Planning in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)
      2. COVID-19 Surveillance and Epidemiology
      3. 2022 Board Self-Assessment Survey (N. Dupuis)
      4. Case and Contact Management/Q1 2022 Updates (F. Lawal)
      5. 2022 Vector-Borne Surveillance Program (K. McBeth)
      6. Communications Update (March – April 2022)
    2. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
      1. ​​​​​2022/23 Budget for Programs funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (L. Gregg)
  8. New Business
    1. 2022 Budget Approvals (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)
    2. Whistle-Blowing Policy (N. Dupuis)
    3. Renewal and Transformation:  A Short-Term Vision for Public Health Priorities and Planning in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)
    4. 2022 Board Self-Assessment (N. Dupuis)
    5. Vaccine Surge Planning (K. McBeth)
  9. Correspondence
    1. Grey Bruce Public Health – Letter to Hon. Christine Elliott and Hon. Michael Tibollo – Mental Health and Addictions
    2. Greater Essex County District School Board – Letter to Hon. Stephen Lecce, and Dr. Kieran Moore, CMOH – Reinstatement of public health measures for Schools
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair June 16, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment


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