MS Teams Resources for the Social Sector

The Information Services Division (ISD) in the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has been responsible for rolling out MS Teams within the social sector and supporting the use of online collaboration tools. They have hosted a number of helpful and informative calls and webinars for Federation members and have also provided additional support and resources which we have collected below.

If you have additional questions, comments, or requests related to the content below, you can contact Sherry Sinclair, The Federation’s Programs and Services Director at

CFSCA Online Tools Update

1: Microsoft Teams

  • MS Teams is currently approved for uses including CFSCA
  • ISD will be setting up sessions to provide training to Federation staff to help those who have access and/or those who are joining meetings set up by the ministry or other staff.
  • ISD has security and privacy guidelines to assist Techsoup or other parties to purchase licenses that comply with government restrictions (e.g., requirements that data be hosted in Canada). These documents can be found below. The ISD team is happy to support anyone needing assistance during the license purchasing process.
  • ISD is also exploring the option of providing government MS Teams licenses to contractors and back-charging back for them.

2: Zoom

  • Approval: Government security and privacy teams are working hard to get this approved in order to allow service delivery. Zoom has been approved for some basic team meeting type uses, but not for CFCSA (including the delivery of services to clients). This work is still in progress and the ISD team is very hopeful but there are no timelines for approval given the complexity of these approvals. Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.
  • Licences: Subject to approval, ISD would be able to support the purchasing of licenses if/when this option becomes available.

Resource Documents

These are the Security and Privacy guidelines for MS Teams that were developed for MCFD that apply to both FOIPAA and CFCSA legislation. While this was developed for MCFD specifically, there is a lot of generally helpful information contained within.

This document was created to help clients learn and understand how to join an MS Teams meeting. It is also useful for employees who have little experience in joining MS Teams meetings.

There is also an MS Teams Records and Management Guide that, while created for the Government Records Service, may also have some helpful information for Federation members about recordkeeping, access and privacy, managing information, and online security.

MCFD-Created MS Teams Videos

Below are three videos that MCFD made themselves for their workers to familiarize their teams with using MS Teams software.

MS Teams Overview Q&A

Q: Can the names be listed first name first?
A: When you use the Search function at the top of the Teams window, you can search first name first. However, searching by last name will narrow down the results faster.

Q: Is the transcription feature that runs through the United States part of Stream?
A: According to the Microsoft website here, if you are within Canada, Stream data centers are within Canada so there is no issues with data flowing to the US.

Q: Can you chat with only one participant, like you can in Zoom?
A: Unfortunately, the side chat function does not exist within MS Teams. You can however continue to have a conversation in the Chat tab while in a Meeting or have a popped-out chat as well.

Q: Does that mean that the Teams meeting link is not unique?
A: Microsoft indicates that each MS Teams meeting link is unique. The caveat there is that if you have 2 meetings back to back that have similar names, you may end up with combined chat sessions and permissions. We suggest you ensure that you’re meeting titles are unique.

Q: I’m not able to go in to “large gallery” view or “together mode” – what would be missing?
A: This is a feature that is available when using a licensed version of Microsoft Teams.

Q: What if you can only see the speaker – where do I find the different views?
A: While in a Teams meeting, select the 3 dots icon (more actions), then select the different view.

Q: Can you talk more about the number of people that you can have in a meeting, and if a PowerPoint presentation can be used via the screen sharing feature.
A: The current limit on MS Teams meetings is 350 participants. A PowerPoint can be shared 2 days, either by screen sharing with Power Point open, or by sharing the Power Point directly from the share tab and select PowerPoint.

Q: Can clients join a meeting without having to download the MS Teams app?
A: Yes. They do however need an up to date browser in order to ensure the best user experience.