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Ombudsman’s statement on violent rampage in Nova Scotia

April 21, 2020

I am heartbroken by the news of the violent rampage in Nova Scotia late Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, where 22 people were killed.

We remember and honour the victims:
Tom Bagley
Kristen Beaton
Greg and Jamie Blair
Joy and Peter Bond
Corrie Ellison
Gina Goulet
Frank Gulenchyn and Dawn Madsen
Lillian Hyslop
Lisa McCully
Sean McLeod and Alanna Jenkins
Heather O’Brien
Emily Tuck, Jolene Oliver and Aaron Tuck
Const. Heidi Stevenson
Joey Webber
John Joseph Zahl and Elizabeth Joanne Thomas


At the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, our hearts are shattered for every family whose loved ones have been stolen. We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and we stand with you in this time of sorrow and as the investigation into these crimes continues.

We wish to thank all first responders—law enforcement and medical personnel— who managed this very difficult situation with bravery and professionalism. We also hope for a full recovery for the people who were injured.

As our country tries to process the unthinkable act that occurred, it will be important to ensure that victims and affected families are provided with timely information and updates about the police investigation and access to victim support services to connect them to long-term mental health supports. There may also be serious financial impacts on victims, which should not be overlooked by officials. Families will also need privacy during this time as they begin to process their grief.

With the country already in lockdown in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19, the Portapique and neighbouring communities will need our unfailing support now more than ever. In moments like these, we must come together to support one another and reject such senseless acts of violence. Canadians deserve to live in safety within their homes and communities.

I take this moment to reaffirm my commitment and my dedication to working with my partners, at all levels of government, to actionize solutions to prevent violent victimization.


Heidi Illingworth
Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime