Aurora Votes 2022: Ward 3 candidate Alexandra Bonham vows to be leader who works with facts

·5 min read

In a world of misinformation, Alexandra Bonham deals strictly in facts.

It’s sometimes hard to “sift through” the sheer amount of information at our disposal, but if she’s elected this fall to be the first Councillor to serve Ward 3, she says she will be a representative that will be able to get to the heart – the facts – of the matter.

A life-long resident of Aurora, Bonham says she has a varied resume and while currently a server at a restaurant within the ward, politics has always been at the core of who she is.

“One thing that has remained stable throughout all of those changes is my interest in politics at all levels,” says Bonham, 33. “In my spare time, I spend countless hours trying to stay informed and up-to-date on what is happening, whether it is in Aurora, Ontario, Canada or the world. I love Aurora, so what better way to start in [getting more involved] than right here?”

A resident of Ward 3, picking her home ward in which to run is something she says was an easy choice.

It is important, she says, for a Ward Councillor to be “accessible” to their constituents and, as a resident, that is something she will be able to provide.

“The things that matter to me [foremost] matter to the residents who are in this part of Aurora,” she explains. “Someone at St. John’s and Leslie Street wouldn’t necessarily be worried about something happening at Henderson and Yonge, for example. It’s more personal and it matters to me. A lot of what the Town is already doing is on the right path. Aurora is really lucky to have a lot of green spaces and a lot of history, and it is important that we maintain that, but growth and change is inevitable.”

As much as Aurora has changed over the more-than-three decades she’s lived here, it’s still a community she recognizes and it’s one she hopes to work to ensure future residents recognize as well.

Rules regarding Aurora’s so-called Stable Neighbourhoods, for instance, is something she holds in high regard, as she does the preservation of green space to “keep us from overgrowth.” Signs of Aurora’s heritage are all around us and it is important that that be maintained as well, she says.

“What I want to see down the road is although change and growth is inevitable, I still want Aurora 20 and 30 years from now to be the same Town I came home from school and that same Town I grew up in be a Town that if my husband and I are lucky enough to have kids of our own, that they love the Town like I do. Given the chance, I can look at decisions, policies and ideas that are being made going forward to ensure that happens.

“I want to be a part of everything that is going on in Aurora. I don’t have all these policies where the minute I get elected I’m going to jump and say, ‘We need to do this, we need to do that,’ I just want to be at the forefront and be a part of the decisions that are being made in terms of Town Square, for example, which I think is very important.

“For a couple of years, we lived in Newmarket just due to life and one of the things we loved about Newmarket was Main Street, the connections and it being the place people had to go to where you could meet people you knew, enjoy restaurants and small businesses. I think we need something like Town Square to bring that business back to the core. Aurora has got so many incredible events and people are concerned about how much is growing, but I find when I still go to the Street Festival or Ribfest, I still run into people I went to school with or worked with.”

If she’s successful in her bid for Ward 3, Bonham says she also hopes to offer a younger perspective at the table, one that represents the many young families who are planting roots in the community. This is not a comment on the outgoing Council, she hastens to add, but there “isn’t that voice for the young people and young families that want to stay in Aurora and be a part of the Town as it grows and changes.”

“I like connecting with people – I do get nervous, don’t we all? – but I am ready for this and usually when I jump into anything I jump in with both feet, hands, head, you name it, and I’m excited to meet more people. I love facts and there’s so much information out there. It’s hard to sift through it, it’s time consuming and we all know that, but I like doing it and I want people to know they can come to talk to me, ask me questions, and if they don’t have time to find the answers, I will find them for them and I will be as transparent, open and honest as possible. It is really easy to throw out numbers and fluff pieces and play to initial emotions and reactions and things like that, but it is not necessarily the right reaction: factual. That is somewhat missing in a lot of politics, unfortunately.”

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran