Patrice Barnes for Ajax
Patrice Barnes is a proud wife, mother, public school board trustee, cultural organizer, and community safety advocate.
Patrice was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada when she was 18, attending Centennial College. For more than a decade, Patrice worked in event management in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, racking up professional successes, awards, and media mentions. She is currently the Event Director of Durham Carifest, the region’s premier annual festival of Caribbean music, food, and culture, hosted at Ajax Downs Racetrack.
She has proudly represented Ajax students and parents on the Durham District School Board (DDSB) as a Public School Trustee, a position she has held for nearly a decade since first elected in 2014. During her time on the Board, she has served in key leadership roles, including Chair of the Education Finance Committee, the Special Education Committee, Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee, and Vice Chair of the Board.
Passionate about inclusive education and improving learning outcomes for marginalized students and families, Patrice has participated in the DDSB Poverty Strategy and continues to champion high expectations for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Patrice was integral in the creation of innovative school programs like the Cypher Program for Black boys, the Empower Her Conference for Black girls, and the first Getting Ready for Kindergarten Program for Black students.
Patrice is also a leader in education policy at the provincial and federal levels. She is a Director with the Ontario Public School Board Association, was a member of the advisory group that authored Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, and contributed to the policy paper “Education Post-COVID” as part of the Ontario Education Partnership Roundtable. Federally, she is active on the Canadian School Board Association Antiracism Work group, addressing systemic barriers around education and advocating for the needs of marginalized students.
As a champion of community safety, Patrice proudly serves the community as a member of the Durham Regional Police Services Board.
“I am running to make life more affordable for hard-working Ajax families; make our community safe again; create well-paying jobs in the trades and manufacturing; and protect the investments that the PC government has made in hospitals, long-term care, schools, and major infrastructure,” said Patrice. “Doug Ford and the PCs are the only team that are getting it done for the people of Ajax and Ontario.”
Patrice lives with her husband, Kirk, and her two children, Zach and Trinity. She is proud to have raised her family in Ajax and looks forward to serving her community as its next MPP.