Yvonne Atwell

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Yvonne Atwell
MLA for Preston
In office
Preceded by Wayne Adams
Succeeded by David Hendsbee
Personal details
Born 1943
Political party NDP

Yvonne Atwell (born 1943 in East Preston, Nova Scotia) is a Canadian hospital administrator and provincial politician. She is the first black woman elected as a MLA in Nova Scotia.

Early life and education[edit]

Yvonne Atwell was born in East Preston, Nova Scotia in 1943. She left the province seeking work opportunities elsewhere.


Atwell worked for 20 years as an administrator at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, becoming head of Patient Services. She returned to Nova Scotia in 1984.

She has been the president of the Black United Front and the African Canadian Caucus, a chair of the Indigenous Black and Mi'kmaq Program at Dalhousie University, a member of the Metropolitan Board of Trade's small business committee, and a member of the George Washington Carver Credit Union executive board.

In 1996 she ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party. She won a seat in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1998 for the riding of Preston, becoming the first black woman MLA in the province.[1] She lost her seat in the 1999 provincial election.

She is currently the director of the African-Canadian Employment Clinic in Halifax. She is also currently the Vice President of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party.


  1. ^ ""New MLA makes history"". Archived from the original on March 10, 2003. Retrieved 2018-01-02. . Halifax Chronicle-Herald, March 26, 1998. Retrieved April 26, 2010 via Internet Archive