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GETTING TO KNOW: Perth-Wellington Liberal candidate Ashley Fox

Longtime healthcare worker and retro gaming enthusiast pressing start on new political venture
20220505 Ashley Fox profile
Perth-Wellington Liberal candidate Ashley Fox

Every video gamer knows challenges come from all angles, and you have to have a keen sense to navigate the twists and turns to move ahead.

It's no different on the election campaign trail.

Attending events, door-knocking, debates and convincing an entire riding on why you are the best choice to represent them at Queen's Park.

It's Ashley Fox's first foray into the political game, running as the Liberal candidate in Perth-Wellington.

"We're kind of nostalgic gamers," she told GuelphToday.

"(My husband Jeff and I) set up a game room in the house, where we have the old school Nintendo, the old school Sega, the old PlayStation. There's definitely some comfort in that nostalgia feel."

But downtime does not come often for the 33-year-old Palmerston resident.

She has been a registered practical nurse for 11 years, after getting her education from Conestoga College in Kitchener and at Georgian College's Owen Sound campus.

"(I'm) primarily working with seniors in retirement and long-term care," Fox said. "But for the last five years, I've been working in home care primarily."

Through the pandemic, she's been on the frontline and said how things were going on a policy and pandemic response level made her want to make a difference.

"At one point, it kind of just all clicked together," Fox said.

"I already make a difference for my patients, why not make a difference for my community as a whole."

She also noted concerns over a lack of communication with the government, and it fuelled her decision to do better and make constituents feel they're being listened to.

Fox's parents live in Harriston, where she was born and raised, and has a younger sister.

She considers herself a lifelong student of healthcare, constantly wanting to pick up knowledge in a class or attending a conference.

"For fun, I am a reader," she said. "I really just enjoy all types of novels in general, and I do have a knack for that as well, and I do enjoy video games."

Video games did come to mind when discussing pets in her life.

Fox said she grew up with hedgehogs — though not a diehard Sonic the Hedgehog fan — and her last two were rescues.

"My cousin was a breeder, and we actually had a hedgehog in our family household," she said.

"When I went away to college, I always wanted a hedgehog again. They're such great pets, honestly. Very fantastic."

If there's anything to know about having one as a pet, Fox said it's that they do get classified as an exotic pet when paying vet fees, and there's only a few vets in the area that know what they are.

Fox is looking to become the first Liberal MPP for Perth-Wellington since John Wilkinson flew the provincial Liberal banner between 2007 and 2011.