The CEO of the Nipissing District Social Service Administration Board believes the local agency accomplished a lot in a meeting with seven provincial cabinet ministers.

Joe Bradbury and other officials from Nipissing DSSAB met with the ministers to discuss issues like mental health and social services at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) meeting in Toronto last week.

Bradbury says although some of the sessions were to push for more funding for programs, that wasn’t always the focus.

“It’s not always necessarily about new money,” Bradbury said.

“It’s also about looking at different strategies and expenditures on existing funding and also to make sure that Northern Ontario gets its fair share.”

Bradbury says also up for discussion by the DSSAB was a pitch for community resources to make sure that the “vulnerable and marginalized” are looked after.

Bradbury says like many areas of Northern Ontario, Nipissing District has not fully recovered from the Great Recession which took place more than 10 years ago.

He says the meetings were to help the area get the resources it needs so DSSAB can address the challenges people face.

Bradbury says three of the main issues that came up were mental health and addictions, supportive and social housing and third, employment.

Bradbury believes the local delegation made an impact because some of the ministries have been in contact with the board since last week.

“They want to hear a little more about the initiative the government can be doing to basically improve the outcome of northerners,” he said.

“I know this government is really focused on social assistance transformation and we’re seeing some of (those changes) roll out already.”

Bradbury says the ROMA meetings were important because it helped the local delegation build an ongoing relationship with the new government.

He says this will be a big benefit in terms of knowing what the needs and challenges are and how the province can help Nipissing.