The Green Party's Hannah Bell, victorious in the Nov. 27 byelection in Charlottetown-Parkdale, took her seat in the P.E.I. Legislature Wednesday.
The province's Election Act provides Elections P.E.I. with two weeks to confirm election results. It's known as determination day, and after that MLAs can take their place in the house.
Bell was sworn in at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, allowing her to be in her seat for the afternoon session.
At the top of her list, Bell said, are social issues. She said one in five people in her district are struggling with poverty, food insecurity, a lack of access to affordable housing, or are marginalized in another way.
Addresses personal tax issue
Prior to her first sitting, Bell also addressed documents leaked to the media revealing she owed federal taxes and had filed a credit proposal to pay those back.
"There's a lot to be said for having an experience which allows you to better understand the experiences of others," she said.
"I think if there's nothing in there which is inappropriate — obviously this is a completely normal, everyday ... activity — then it shouldn't really matter. And we don't want to see us going the way we've seen in the States, which is that every secret is dirty laundry and everything is used as, sort of, weapons against each other. That's not a healthy way to conduct politics and that's something that I don't think we should aim to descend to here in P.E.I. either."
Bell is just the second Green Party member to be elected to the P.E.I. Legislature, and only the fourth MLA since 1900 who was not a Liberal or Progressive Conservative (Conservative prior to 1947).
She joins Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker in the legislature. He was elected in the 2015 general election.
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