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Participants are individuals or groups who applied and were found to have a substantial and direct interest in the subject matter of the Commission’s work.

Who are the Participants?

To be granted Participation, applicants needed to explain their connection to the mass casualty, and/or their experience and knowledge in areas that relate to the Commission’s mandate. This information demonstrated whether they had a substantial and direct interest in the subject matter of the Commission.

In total, the Commissioners granted 61 individuals and groups the opportunity for appropriate participation in the inquiry including those most affected, family members of the deceased, first responders and a number of groups and organizations. Both the federal and Nova Scotian governments are also Participants, as directed in the Orders in Council.

A recording of the Participation Decision announced via live webcast on Thursday, May 13, 2021 is available at the bottom of this page. You can read the full documentation of the Participation Decision, along with the Participation Decision Addendum, Participation Decision Addendum II, Participation Decision Addendum IIIParticipation Decision Addendum IV and Participation Addendum Decision V. The Addenda reflect changes to the Participation Decision regarding Participant status, funding or other changes that occurred after May 13, 2021.

  • Those Most Affected, Individuals & Governments

    The Orders in Council direct that certain groups of people who were most affected by the mass casualty would be granted the right to participate, if they so choose. Those granted Participation include families of the deceased, witnesses and other individuals most affected, as well as the Government.

    Those Most Affected

    Participant Counsel

    Family of Aaron Tuck, Jolene Oliver and Emily Tuck

    Family of Lillian Campbell

    Represented by Burchell MacDougall LLP

    Family of Gina Goulet

    Represented by Lenehan Musgrave LLP

    Family of Joy and Peter Bond

    Represented by Chester Law

    Family of Lisa McCully

    Family of Sean McLeod

    Family of Alanna Jenkins

    Family of Jamie Blair

    Family of Greg Blair

    Family of Corrie Ellison

    Clinton Ellison

    Richard Ellison

    Family of Tom Bagley

    Family of Kristen Beaton

    Family of Joey Webber

    Family of John Zahl

    Family of Elizabeth Thomas

    Families of Dawn Madsen & Frank Gulenchyn

    Family of Heather O’Brien

    Carole and Adam Fisher

    Leon Joudrey

    Bernie Murphy

    Deb Thibeault

    Mallory Colpitts

    Darrell Currie

    Greg Muise

    Represented by Patterson Law

    Tara Long


    Bev Beaton

    Represented by MDW Law

    Andrew and Kate MacDonald

    Represented by Stockwoods LLP

    Lisa Banfield

    Represented by Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh


    Participant Counsel

    Attorney General of Canada

    Represented by the Department of Justice Canada

    Attorney General of Nova Scotia

    Represented by the Department of Justice Nova Scotia


    Dr. Sara Jodi McDavid

  • Group Applicants

    A number of groups and organizations were granted participation in the Commission’s process based upon their experience and knowledge in areas that relate to the mandate. In order to efficiently benefit from their contributions while making the best use of funding, some Participants were grouped into coalitions according to their purpose, focus and characteristics.

    The groups include Victim Advocacy Organizations, Health-Related Organizations, Firearm Organizations, Justice Organizations, Gender-Based Organizations and Police-Related Organizations.

    Victim Advocacy Organizations

    Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC)

    Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police --National Working Group Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence (CACP NWG)

    Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime (CRCVC) – Represented by by Foord Law

    Health-Related Organizations

    Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union (NSNU)

    Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) - Represented by Pink Larkin Lawyers/Avocats

    Along the Shore Health Board

    Firearm Organizations

    Canadian Coalition for Gun Control (CCGC)

    Canadian National Firearm Association (CNFA)

    Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR)

    Justice Organizations

    Nova Scotia Legal Aid

    BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)

    East Coast Prison Justice Society (ECPJS)

    Gender-Based Organizations

    Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia

    Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre and Women’s Wellness Within (Coalition) - Represented by Sullivan Breen Defence

    Feminists Fighting Femicide

    Persons Against Non-State Torture

    Women’s Shelters Canada, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia and Be the Peace Institute (Coalition) - Represented by Megan Stephens Law, Hicks LeMoine Law and Shawna Paris-Hoyte

    Police-Related Organizations

    National Police Federation (NPF) - Represented by Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia

    Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association (NSCPA)

    RCMP Veterans’ Association of Nova Scotia (VANS)

    Truro Police Service (TPS) - Represented by Burchell MacDougall

    Atlantic Police Association (APA)

    Canadian Police Association (CPA) - Represented by Pink Larkin Lawyers/Avocats

What is the role of Participants?

The Rules of Practice and Procedure (“the Rules”) were developed collaboratively with Participants to ensure everyone has a common understanding of the roles, processes and approach for public proceedings—including public hearings, roundtables, panels and community meetings. 

The role of a Participant varies based on how their contribution will help the Commission fulfill its mandate. Some Participants are more involved in Phase 1 work—helping the Commission understand what happened on April 18 and 19, 2020. Others are more involved in Phase 2 and 3—exploring the broader context of why and how the mass casualty happened and contributing to recommendations.

Participant contributions can include engaging in the hearings, providing written submissions, and taking part in roundtable discussions. Participants are entitled to commission their own reports, or put research before the Commission. They can also able provide the Commission with questions or areas they wish to have explored with a person providing oral evidence at a hearing. 

As the Commission’s work continues, the Commission will hear from Participants about how the facts established in Phase 1, primarily through the Foundational Documents, relate to broader questions surrounding the mass casualty and recommendations for change. To learn more about the steps to create Foundational Documents, visit our Foundational Documents webpage.

Content Warning: The following video contains scenes including the discharging of firearms causing death. There is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website if you need it, and Wellness Supports are also listed.

Some of the information within this website may be disturbing or upsetting for some visitors. This website deals with information about events that include gun and other violence, including gender-based violence and intimate partner violence. If you need to leave at any point, there is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website. This website also includes some suggested resources, should you be in need of support.

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