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Council candidate hoping to bring balanced and diverse voices to the table

September 22, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Written By Paula Brown

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Alethia O’Hara Stepheson is looking to bring balanced leadership to the council table with an opportunity for diverse voices as she runs for a spot on Shelburne council in the upcoming municipal election. 

O’Hara Stephenson is among twelve candidates running for the five open seats for the next term of Shelburne Town Council. 

“It’s important for me to be able to give back to my community and this is just one way of doing so,” said O’Hara Stephenson about her decision to run for council. “Stepping up for a leadership position.” 

Looking for a place to raise her family, O’Hara Stephenson moved to Shelburne in 2014 based on the community’s quiet charm and tranquil environment appeal. In June of 2020, she founded the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association (DCCBA), which looks to provide education and awareness around the contributions of black Canadians to Canada’s history. 

O’Hara Stephenson has also sat on a number of committees and boards, most notably the joint Accessibility and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. She was also a key figure in establishing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees across the County. 

Speaking with the Free Press, O’ Hara Stephenson said one of her main focuses in her campaign will be recreation, specifically the development of a multi-purpose recreation facility. 

“My blue-sky idea would be to have a fully functional recreation facility with year-round swimming, and where we are able to have indoor facilities,” said O’Hara Stephenson. 

Her other main focus will be enhancing economic development.

“Enhancing the work that we’ve already started and increasing economic opportunities for young people and our growing community,” she said. “How can we attract more growth sectors to the town that will allow us to have more business growth?”

Asked on how her role as founder and president of the DCCBA will help if elected to council, O’Hara Stephenson said, “What is unique for me is the fact that I’m hearing all sides of the story; I’m hearing voices from everyone in Shelburne. I think that’s a great advantage that I bring to the table because I now have the lens that affords me the opportunity to hear and to speak on what the entire community is
asking for.” 

Residents interested in speaking with O’Hara Stephenson about her campaign can contact her via email at  

“It’s fantastic that I have all of these ideas but ultimately, it’s our residents that have the voice. It is our residents who will have the biggest impact. They’re the driver for what changes we need to make as council,” said O’Hara Stephenson. 

The municipal election will take place on Oct. 24. 



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