The advantage of a lone MLA

Until recently, three provinces had lone Green MLAs, the respective leaders of the BC, New Brunswick, and PEI Green Parties (Andrew Weaver, David Coon, and Peter Bevan-Baker, respectively). We also have a lone MP federally in Elizabeth May who’s been able to punch above her weight when it comes to what a single federal MP is able to accomplish.

In each case, we’ve seen exciting evidence of what even a single MLA can do, with these lone representatives participating in getting private members bills passed, or convincing governments to implement change. We saw that with bills inspired by Andrew Weaver on campus sexual assault and against women being forced to wear high heels at work, and we saw that federally with Elizabeth May’s Lyme Disease Strategy bill.

We may now be seeing another example of that in PEI with the announcement that the PEI health and tourism departments may be acting on monitoring the water quality at provincial beaches along PEI’s south shore. This was after the issue was raised in the autumn 2016 sitting of the PEI legislature by Peter Bevan-Baker. I think there are times when being a lone MLA from a small party (or even an independent) can get you more attention that being yet another back-bencher from a larger party.


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