The chair of Nipissing DSSAB says he’s not surprised that Joe Bradbury, the agency’s CAO, is leaving the local board.

Mark King says Bradbury was sought after not only in Northeastern Ontario but across Ontario.

“His connections at the provincial level and DSSAB level across Northern Ontario are substantial,” King said.

“There aren’t too many people he doesn’t know from a provincial government standpoint, either elected or senior management.  When you walk into a room with senior government people inside the government, they all know him.”

King says when asked if Bradbury’s successor has big shoes to fill, “that’s an understatement.”

King says there’s no question that many projects in Nipissing District saw the light of day because of Bradbury and a prime example is housing.

“We’ve had more geared-to-income housing built in Nipissing in the last four years than decades in the city,” King said.

“And those projects moved forward because of his (Bradbury’s) tenacity at the provincial level to go after them.”

King says the local DSSAB has a number of substantial projects on the go thanks in large part to Bradbury’s abilities.

He says Bradbury is driven and it wasn’t unusual to see him in the DSSAB office until 9:00pm on weeknights.

Bradbury is leaving the Nipissing DSSAB for its counterpart in Parry Sound in early July.

King says Parry Sound did everything to attract Bradbury and adds “they have a tremendous person who will do a great job for them and we wish him luck for the future”.

King says despite Bradbury leaving, he will be able to continue to advocate for the north.

He says the CAOs of the northern DSSABs meet regularly to discuss northern issues.

“He understands what’s going on and has the ability to equate to government officials the problem and the solution,” King says.

King believes Bradbury is destined to end up in a very large position somewhere down the road.

The Nipissing DSSAB secured his services five years ago from the provincial government.

Originally from Peterborough, Bradbury’s background with the provincial government was with the health ministry.

King says Bradbury now sits on the Premier’s Board to examine how to restructure the health system.

“So this gives you an idea of how the Premier feels about him,” King said.