“I’m not an Environmentalist”: Green Party MLA Hannah Bell

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 4.49.49 PMGreen Party MLA Hannah Bell, speaking to Holland College Journalism students about her journey into politics. Bradley Collins photo.

By Bradley Collins

Feb. 12, 2018

The second Green party MLA to join the P.E.I. legislature wants to make a distinction: she’s not an environmentalist.

Hannah Bell was elected on Nov. 27 in a by-election, after Doug Currie, the sitting minister of education, resigned.

With the Green Party, people tend to assume it’s about environmentalism all the time, Bell said.

“I have an MBA and I’m a computer engineer. I’m about as far from an environmentalist as you can get.”

But, Hannah said she joined the Green party because of its core values: Grassroots democracy, social justice, care for our environment and planning for the future.

Bell was at Holland College on Monday in Charlottetown speaking to journalism students.

“If there are something around values that doesn’t work for you, then it’s probably a sign that you should be looking more closely at it.” Bell said.

Bell said every party approached her to run as an MLA.

But she said no, because she couldn’t be aligned with a party whose values she didn’t support, Bell said.

“It wouldn’t be honest and true to myself to do so.”

Bell originally planned to get into politics when her daughter Ava was older.

Then, after Doug Currie resigned she got the call from Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party.

He asked her to run.

“I can’t,” Bell said at the time.

Bell was worried about whether it would be too hard on her 10-year-old daughter Ava.

“Should I run or not?” she asked Ava.

“Well mommy, I think it would be a really good learning experience,” Ava said.

We agreed it might be a good idea, Bell said.

“I got elected on my first try. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”