Skip to main content

May 13, 2021

Today, the Mass Casualty Commission is releasing its decision on Applications for Participation (Standing). The decision names individuals and groups who will be Participants in its proceedings.

The announcement of the Participation Decision marks the first public proceeding of the independent Commission. To date, the Commission’s first priority has been to engage with those most affected by the mass casualty, while building the Commission’s team and process within COVID-19 protocols.

In response to the Call for Participants in March, the Commission received applications from more than 60 individuals and groups interested in participating in all or part of the Commission’s work. Applicants were asked to explain their connection to the events of April 18 and 19, 2020 or their experience and knowledge in areas that relate to the Commission’s mandate (the “substantial and direct connection test”). The mandate includes investigating what happened leading up to and during the events of April 18 and 19, 2020; policing; community safety; and violence, including intimate partner violence.

Where the Commissioners are satisfied that an Applicant has met the substantial and direct connection test, they have determined that the Applicant will be a Participant in the Commission’s process. A summarized list of Participants from today’s Decision is included below.

Participation can vary from a role involving a particular aspect of the Commission’s mandate to participating more frequently across a range of proceedings. The form of participation can also vary from testifying under oath (or a promise to tell the truth), to taking part in roundtable discussions, to providing expert reports and opinion evidence. Groups of Participants can also contribute in coalitions. Commission Counsel will work with all Participants to inform the Commissioners’ determinations as to the extent of their participation.

The Commission would like to thank the many individuals and groups who applied to participate in the Commission’s process. It is not necessary to be a Participant to be involved in the Commission’s work. For example, members of the public may attend future community sessions and other public proceedings (virtual broadcasts will be available wherever possible). They may also follow the Commission’s website and social media for updated information on the Inquiry process.

Following today’s Participation Decision, the Commission’s next steps include ongoing engagement with those most affected; investigation into the events of April 18 and 19, 2020; research and policy work; finalizing the Rules of Practice and Procedure; and engaging with Participants and planning public proceedings. Information is updated regularly on the Commission’s website ( and social media channels. Dates and logistics for community meetings and information sessions will be posted and all activities will observe COVID-19 restrictions.

List of Participants

The following individuals and groups have been granted the opportunity to participate in the Mass Casualty Commission proceedings. For more information, please review the full Participation Decision.

1. Those Most Affected

The Orders in Council directed that certain groups of people who were most affected by the mass casualty would be granted the right to participate. The following have indicated an intention to exercise this right.

A. Families of the Deceased

1. Bagley Family
2. Beaton Family
3. Blair Family
4. Bond Family
5. Campbell Family
6. Ellison Family
7. Goulet Family
8. Gulenchyn/Madsen Family
9. Jenkins Family
10. McCully Family
11. McLeod Family
12. O’Brien Family
13. Oliver/Tuck Family
14. Thomas/Zahl Family
15. Webber Family

B. Individuals

16. Lisa Banfield
17. Beverly Beaton
18. Mallory Colpitts
19. Darrell Currie
20. Adam Fisher
21. Carole Fisher
22. Leon Joudrey
23. Tara Long
24. Andrew MacDonald
25. Greg Muise
26. Bernie Murphy
27. Deb Thibeault

2. Other Individuals from Whom More Information Is Required

The Commission also received applications from eleven Applicants from whom more information is required to better assess their potential contribution. The Commission is inviting them to provide a written submission with more details about how they propose to participate.

3. Group Applicants

A number of groups and organizations applied for an opportunity to participate in the Commission’s process based upon their interest in various aspects of the mandate. In order to ensure an expeditious review of the issues in the mandate, while making the best use of government funding, some Participants will be grouped into coalitions.

a. Victim Advocacy Organizations

  1. Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime (CRCVC), Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC), and Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police – National Working Group (CACP NWG), Coalition

b. Health-Related Organizations

  1. Nova Scotia Nurses Union (NSNU)
  2. Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU)
  3. Along the Shore Health Board (ATSHB)

c. Firearms Organizations

  1. Canadian Coalition for Gun Control (CCGC)
  2. Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR)

d. Justice Organizations

  1. BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and East Coast Prison Justice Society (ECPJS) Coalition
  2. Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA)

e. Gender-Based Organizations

  1. Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, and Wellness Within Coalition
  2. Feminists Fighting Femicide (FFF) and Persons Against Non-State Torture (PANST) Coalition
  3. Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC), Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS), and Be the Peace Institute Coalition
  4. Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia (EFMNS)

f. Police-Related Organizations

  1. Atlantic Police Association (APA) and Canadian Police Association (CPA) Coalition
  2. National Police Federation (NPF)
  3. Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association (NSCPA)
  4. RCMP Veterans Association of Nova Scotia (RCMP-VANS)
  5. Truro Police Service (TPS)

Background References:

Inquiry Process Overview
Participation Decision
Order in Council: Government of Canada
Order in Council: Government of Nova Scotia
Health supports

About the Mass Casualty Commission: The Commission into the April 2020 Nova Scotia Mass Casualty (the “Mass Casualty Commission”) is an independent public inquiry created to examine the April 18–19, 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia and to provide meaningful recommendations to help protect Canadians in the future. For more information, see

For further information, please contact:

Mass Casualty Commission

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.

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to help improve your experience while using this website. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to this use of cookies. Read more about cookies and other information in our Privacy Policy.