John Howatt Bell
|John Howatt Bell|
|14th Premier of Prince Edward Island|
September 9, 1919 – September 5, 1923
|Lieutenant Governor||Murdoch McKinnon|
|Preceded by||Aubin-Edmond Arsenault|
|Succeeded by||James D. Stewart|
December 13, 1846|
Cape Traverse, Prince Edward Island
|Died||January 29, 1929
Los Angeles, California
|Political party||Prince Edward Island Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Howatt (m. 1882)|
|Residence||Summerside, Prince Edward Island|
|Alma mater||Prince of Wales College
|Occupation||teacher and lawyer|
Bell was born in Cape Traverse, the son of Walter Bell and Elizabeth Howatt. He was educated at Prince of Wales College and at Albert College in Belleville. After studying law, he was called to the Ontario bar in 1874 and set up practice in Ottawa. He moved to Manitoba, was called to the bar there and set up practice in Emerson. In 1882, he married his first cousin, Helen, the daughter of Cornelius Howatt. He returned to Prince Edward Island, was called to the bar, and set up practice in Summerside.
Bell entered politics in 1886 when he was elected to the province's legislative assembly as a Liberal. In 1898 he won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons as a supporter of the federal Liberals under Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He lost his seat in 1900 but returned to the provincial assembly in 1915 when he was chosen to lead the Liberal Party and became leader of the opposition. After Bell led the Liberals to power in 1919, he became Premier. His government extended the province's road system and adopted a highway improvement policy funded by a tax that contributed to the government's unpopularity. His administration also extended the voting franchise to women in 1922.
Bell's government was ridden with disputes within his cabinet, which harmed the party's unity and popularity and led to his government's electoral defeat in 1923 after a single term in office. Bell retired from politics and died six years later in a car accident in Los Angeles, California.
- "John Howatt Bell". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2005.
- John Howatt Bell – Parliament of Canada biography
- Premiers Gallery, Prince Edward Island
|Parliament of Canada|
|Member of Parliament from East Prince
Alfred Alexander Lefurgey
|Premier of Prince Edward Island
James David Stewart