Council Elections

2017 Council Elections
This is an election year for the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society; the last one was in 2015. Lawyers and other members had an opportunity to nominate and vote for those who will lead the Society during the 2017-2019 term, and provide policy direction on issues that govern the Society as the public interest regulator of the legal profession.

November 2017 Byelection in Halifax District
A byelection will be held to fill a vacancy in Halifax District. Voting will be open from 8:00 am on Monday, November 6 to Wednesday, November 8, 2017, closing at 5:00 pm. See the 2017 Halifax District Byelection page for more details, including candidate information as it becomes available. Nominations also closed October 20 for a potential Cape Breton byelection; candidate Shane Russell is now acclaimed to Council.    

Halifax lawyer John Bodurtha will serve as Second Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society for the 2017-2018 Council year. Read more ...

The Second Vice-President holds a key position in governance of the public interest regulator of the legal profession. In the ordinary course, she or he continues on to become First Vice-President and then President of the Society. The Governance and Nominating Committee has identified characteristics and qualities it believes the Second Vice-President should have; these are available in a Position Description – Second Vice-President.

Four Council members were elected in Halifax District on March 20, 2017: John Bodurtha, Sheree L. Conlon QC, Deanna Frappier and Loretta M. Manning QC. Read more ...  (Note: Mr. Bodurtha is now Second Vice-President; a byelection is scheduled for Nov. 6-8, 2017)

Acclaimed members for 2017-2019
By the February 15 deadline, two candidates were nominated in Cape Breton and Central Districts and one candidate in Southwestern District, so elections were not required in those districts. The following nominees (all incumbents) were therefore acclaimed as Council members for the 2017-2019 term:

Cape Breton District  
Jillian MacNeil
​Shane Russell (Note: This seat was initially held by the Hon. Judge McGrath until her appointment to the Nova Scotia Provincial and Family Courts on Sept. 19. 2017. Mr. Russell was acclaimed on Oct. 20, 2017.)

Central District 
Ellen R. Burke 
Kelly R. Mittelstadt

​Southwestern District
Andrew S. Nickerson QC
David Hirtle (acclaimed in July 2017)


District map

Three Members at Large were elected on April 24, 2017, following the Halifax District Election. All lawyers and non-practising members are eligible to run and vote for these positions. 

Members at Large for 2017-2019
Cheryl A. Canning, Halifax 
Tuma T. W. Young, LLM, Sydney 
Brian K. Awad, Halifax 
Election of At Large Members of Council is the second phase of the Council Election process. The two-phase election arose from recommendations of the Task Force on Council Composition (2009) that a smaller Council may mean less diversity of backgrounds, views and experience around the Council table. The Task Force specifically wanted to ensure that Council membership reflected: 
  • experience in the particular areas of focus in Council’s Strategic Plan;
  • gender or sexual orientation;
  • geographic representation;
  • race;
  • practice area (e.g., corporate, litigation, property, family, etc.);
  • practice venue (e.g., private firm, government, legal aid, etc.);
  • other areas of potential under-representation that may be identified.

Council has reiterated the importance of these factors. Through the Governance and Nominating Committee, candidates in any identified area of under-representation will be encouraged to run for election. Other committees of the Society and individual members are also encouraged to identify gaps and to encourage nominations in response.

Role of Council
Council members ensure that the Society acts in the public interest and as a fair, visionary and respected regulator. Council requires committed lawyers who understand the responsibilities associated with self governance of an independent legal profession. A diversity of representation on Council plays an important role in setting and implementing the Society’s strategic direction and ensuring that the Society’s activities have a positive impact on the public’s interest in the Nova Scotia legal profession.

Details of the Society’s election process are outlined in the Society’s Regulations 2.4 (District Elections), 2.5 (At Large Elections), and 2.6 (Second Vice-President Elections).

Voting for all elections is held electronically. Prior to the opening of the election, all eligible voters will be provided with a username and password via an email from the Society. This same username and password will work for each of the elections in which a voter may participate, including the At Large Election.

Election results
Election results are posted on the Society’s website and distributed through InForum immediately at the close of each of the respective elections.

Council meetings for 2017-2018
Most Council and Committee meetings take place at the Society’s offices in Halifax. See the schedule of Meeting Dates for 2017-2018

Further details
Questions regarding the election process can also be directed to the Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee, R. Daren Baxter QC, TEP, at or Executive Director Darrel Pink at