Halifax Council Election Candidates

A Council Election will be held in Halifax District from March 1-15, 2021. Seven practising lawyers will be vying for the four Halifax District seats on Council. Review our Council election FAQs to learn more about voting.

Angelina Amaral

Angelina Amaral

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office

Read Angelina’s Bio

Angelina Amaral, BA, MEd:LLL, JD, is a Mi’kmaw Lawyer and a member of the Miawpukek (Conne River) First Nation of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has focused her legal career on community-development and capacity building. She has also helped communities by drafting a number of community-based protocols including: the Building a Bridge protocol for the use of section 84 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act; the Mi’kmaq Inclusion in the Process of Accountability for Hunting and Fishing Offences Protocol; the Mi’kmaw Sentencing Circle Protocol; the Ankwe’aq: Mi’kmaw Custom Adoption Protocol; and the Wikɨamanej Kikmanaq Program protocol.

Election Essay

Since taking part in the TRC Working Group, I have come to appreciate the work of Bar Council, as a self-regulating body. and actively been engaged with membership to increase their understanding of Indigenous Culture and Rights. I believe with my knowledge, expertise and community connections I could support Council in it’s strategic goals. With my negotiation skills, triple P approach, equity lens, and risk analysis I could support the work of Council. I commit to actively keeping the membership and public interest throughout my decision making and at the core of the work we want to accomplish.

As a lawyer working in governance, research and Justice I know I have the right skills, values and communication ability that would encourage our membership to become involved and take an interest in Council’s priorities; such as culture competence, EDI and mentoring. As a member of Council, my goal would be to support my colleagues, executive and the president to achieve our goals. I will engage with communities, staff, committees and membership to actively listen to be effective in be leaders in this profession.

I hope you will consider my nomination and look forward to working with everyone.

D. Fraser MacFadyen

D. Fraser MacFadyen

Stewart McKelvey

Read Fraser’s Bio

After graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 1985, Fraser MacFayden articled and practiced in BC until 1989. In 1989, he returned to NS and joined Stewart McKelvey where he has practiced in the commercial area with a current concentration in more complex commercial property matters.

Fraser was an instructor for several years with the Bar Society articling program and previously co-instructed Corporate Finance at Dalhousie Law School. He is also the past NS President of the CBA Real Estate Subsection for NS, past Chair of Feed Nova Scotia and was a Board Member at Sacred Heart School Halifax.

Fraser works with clients on a wide variety of issues, including real estate acquisitions, dispositions and financing, commercial leasing, and general commercial matters such as formation, organization, contract compliance and employment. A few examples of his work include acting as one of the leads in:

  • The acquisition by Sobeys of the assets of Canada Safeway for approximately $5.8 billion.
  • The sale leaseback transaction between Sobeys and Crombie REIT with respect to 70 properties and proceeds of approximately $990 million.
  • The formation of Crombie REIT, a complex transaction involving the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The acquisition of 61 properties by Crombie REIT for an acquisition cost of $430 million.
  • The acquisition of the casinos in Nova Scotia by Great Canadian Casino Corporation, which involved a unique tax saving structure.

Election Essay

As members of the profession I believe we all have an obligation to give back.

My hope is that as an elected member I will have an opportunity to participate in and influence the direction of the governing body.

The core responsibilities of the Society have not changed. But if we are to retain our independence and our relevance we need as a group to ensure that we continue to fill a relevant and important roll in Society.

When I attended law school in 1982 the majority of my class was women (approximately 52% I believe). Since that time I have seen women disproportionately leave the profession.

We need to be prepared to have frank conversations relating to diversity. These are not always comfortable. I have participated in some of these as a member of our firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

We can’t simply assume that individual goodwill is a sufficient answer to issues of diversity and inclusion. Nor can we simply assume that all issues which affect these issues can be adequately and effectively addressed by the Barrister’s Society. But we can and should continue to look at what can be practically addressed.

The rate of change in the world is going to continue to accelerate. In years past provincial regulators fought such things as lawyers advertising, inter-provincial law firms etc. When we look forward we need to be thoughtful concerning the issues on which we will focus.

I regularly work with people from across the country, in big organizations and small. I have throughout my time at the bar always been willing to express my opinions and to listen to those of others. We will not always agree with each other. I have found that the most effective change comes once we recognize the need for it.

My hope is that as a group we will embrace change.

Morgan Manzer

Nova Scotia Legal Aid

Read Morgan’s bio

I am a Staff Lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA), practising child protection and family law. Within NSLA, I am an active member of the Equity & Racial Diversity Committee and the Equity Audit Steering Committee. For the first half of 2020, I seconded to the Equity and Access Office of NSBS to advise on equity and access issues affecting the NSBS and the legal profession more broadly.

Recently, I concluded a 4-year term as Chair of Halifax Pride Society’s board of directors. I continue to lead its policy and governance committee.

In November 2019, I received the Zöe Odei Young Lawyers Award from the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), Nova Scotia branch, for my work within the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

I presently serve as a Trustee on the board of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and am a member of their Grants Committee. I previously served on the board of the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia.

Election Essay

I seek a seat at the Council table to champion equity and access. Advancing these priorities is critical to fulfilling Council’s strategic plan. My involvement within the profession and the community, as well as my own lived experience, equip me with the tools to lead on these priorities:

  1. My own lived experience – as a queer person of colour – has taught me the importance of an intersectional approach to equity and inclusion. I recognize people’s lives involve multiple interrelated identities and people may experience marginalization and exclusion based on the intersection of those identities. Therefore, it is imperative for our regulator to be aware of and collectively consider the interrelated identities of its members, as well as taking into account historical, social and political context, in implementing policies that truly promote equity and inclusion.
  2. Through my leadership with Halifax Pride, I discovered how oppression is built into our systems and institutions, and how we must begin to deconstruct them and rebuild them more equitably. I also gained practical experience in creating safer spaces to have difficult conversations in a productive and respectful way.
  3. My practice at NSLA reinforced my awareness of the significant barriers many in our society encounter in accessing legal services. Despite progress, substantial obstacles remain for many folks attempting to access legal services and navigate the legal system.

These experiences equip me well to take on the challenge of meaningfully serving on Council.

We must do more to tackle systemic and structural barriers that impair the Society’s ability to truly uphold and protect the public interest. However, I take a pragmatic approach to advancing these priorities to ensure the work of Council is done effectively and efficiently.

As a member of Council, I commit to do the following:

  • Apply an equity-lens to all decisions;
  • Strive to build consensus, where possible;
  • Actively listen and make best efforts to understand all perspectives;
  • Challenge the status quo and encourage members to re-imagine new ways of doing things, where appropriate;
  • Fearlessly and zealously advocate for the interests of equity-seeking folks; and
  • Continually learn.

I hope to have your support to serve as a member of Council for HRM.

Josie McKinney

Public Prosecution Service

Read Josie’s bio

Josie McKinney is Mi’kmaq and Maliseet from New Brunswick and an alumna of the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative at the Schulich School of Law. After graduating from law school in 2006, she articled with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and Public Prosecution Service.

Josie was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2007 and to the Ontario Bar later that same year. She joined the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic as Coordinator of Aboriginal Legal Services providing legal advice and representation in criminal law and, in certain cases, assisted criminally accused clients in making civil claims for negligent investigation and wrongful arrest. She also represented clients in the Indian Residential School Settlement claims process.

In 2011, Josie was appointed a Crown Attorney in the Yarmouth office of the NS Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and then to the Shelburne Crown Attorney’s Office in 2012. In 2018, Josie transferred to the Halifax office. In July 2020, Josie was appointed as Nova Scotia’s first Crown Attorney dedicated to the prosecution of human trafficking offences.

Josie is a member of the PPS Sexual Assault Working Group and Co-Chair of the PPS Equity and Diversity Committee. She was the primary author of the prosecution service’s recently issued policy, Fair Treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Criminal Prosecutions in Nova Scotia.

Josie is a frequent presenter at Crown Attorney educational conferences and has also presented for the NSBS, NS Legal Aid, UNB, and for elementary and high school students in NB and NS.

Josie is a current Halifax representative on Bar Council and co-chair of the Society’s Racial Equity Committee. She is an active volunteer mentor for law students of the IB&M Initiative and new lawyers at the PPS.

Election Essay

When I ran for Council last year, I did so on the platform of effecting change for Indigenous people, improving access to justice for all, and a genuine desire to contribute to the legal profession. Since joining Council, I have never wavered from these commitments; but I have also learned a lot along the way.

I have learned just how disconnected our members feel from the Society. I have seen the unique challenges many members face. The pandemic only compounded the disconnect and disparities; with our female members bearing much of the weight of keeping family and work in balance.  

It has been a tremendously difficult year for all of us. Yet, even in the most unpredictable times, Nova Scotia continued to find ways to come together. “Nova Scotia Strong”, “Black Lives Matter”, and “Mi’kma’ki Strong” became rallying cries for those who understood we are truly better when we stand together.

Nova Scotia’s legal profession has led the country on issues of equity and access to justice, because of this attitude. I want NSBS to continue to lead. I want to continue to support the Society and the membership by improving engagement with you and with the public we serve. I will always set high expectations for the Society and the legal profession; but I will never ask more of you than I ask of myself, nor exceed what I know we are capable of. Nova Scotia is small but mighty; known for punching above its weight. I am asking for the opportunity to keep building on this reputation

Melanie Petrunia

Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia

Read Melanie’s bio

I am currently a partner at Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia, a feminist litigation boutique in Halifax, where I practice civil, commercial and tax litigation. I began my legal career at Stewart McKelvey before joining the federal Department of Justice, Tax Law Services. During my eight years with the DOJ, I regularly appeared in the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. I joined my current firm after a brief period as a sole practitioner. I also serve as a part-time member of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada.

Election Essay

I have served as an At-Large member on Council since June 2019. During that time, I have also been a member of the Racial Equity Committee and the Credentials Committee. I am an active member of Council and chaired the Council Task Force on COVID-19 which led to a reduction in fees for lawyers experiencing hardship due to the pandemic.

I bring to Council my experience as a queer woman and as someone who has enjoyed both the institutional support offered by the large firm and government environment as well as the relative uncertainty and risk involved in working as a sole practitioner and as a partner in a small firm. I believe these experiences offer me a unique perspective on the challenges facing the legal profession in Nova Scotia.

I have a particular interest in the Society’s initiatives aimed at increasing access to justice and the legal system which is a significant priority in my legal practice as well. I am eager to engage with the issues facing the profession in the coming years concerning increasing access to legal services with greater reliance on technology and through the provision of legal services by non-lawyers.

If given the opportunity to continue to serve on Council, I would approach the work of promoting diversity and inclusion in the profession with enthusiasm and dedication. I believe the profession in this province has made great strides but significant work remains to be done to maintain momentum and ensure the Society’s engagement of this strategic goal remains sincere.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue to meaningfully contribute to the important initiatives of the Society and I welcome your support.

Mark Rieksts

Department of Justice, NS

Read Mark’s bio

For the past 14 years, I have been with the Legal Services Division of the Department of Justice. Prior to that I was in private practice in Dartmouth for about 9 years. I previously served on Bar Council early in my career for two terms. I have served on the Credentials Committee, and currently sit on the Supreme Court Liaison Committee. I have been the CBA Section Chair for the Environment and Energy Group. I am currently the President of the Nova Scotia Government Lawyers’ Association, and represent this group on Canadian Association of Crown Counsels.

Election Essay

In the early part of my legal career, I had the privilege of serving on Bar Council where I saw how important an engaged membership is to achieving the goals of a self-regulating profession.

I believe my previous involvement on Council and my experiences since then will allow me to bring a unique perspective to the important issues this next Council will take up in the coming years. I am particularly interested in the advancement of gender equity, diversity, and access to justice initiatives by Council.

I pledge to carefully consider all Council questions with an open mind, towards the goal of fulfilling the Society’s mandates and for the benefit of all members.

Terry Sheppard

Boyne Clarke LLP

Read Terry’s bio

Work History

  • 2002 — Present: BOYNECLARKE LLP; Partner since 2006; Management Committee
  • 2012-2016; Chair of the Family Law Team 2006-2016
  • Reierson Shurman 2001-2002
  • Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Halifax & Antigonish 2000-2001
  • Blackburn English, Enfield 1999-2000
  • Articled Clerk, Patterson Palmer Hunt Murphy Barristers & Solicitors, Truro 1998-1999

Volunteer Work

  • Parent Act Advisory Group Member — Access to Justice & Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia
  • Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society
  • Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
  • Vice President – Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia (President Commencing September 2021)
  • Member – Parent Information Program Project Advisory Committee – Department of Justice
  • Member – Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and Department of Justice Joint Committee to implement amendments to the Children and Family Services Act regarding adoptions
  • Member – Parent Information Program Development Working Group
  • Trainer for the Parent Information Program
  • Volunteer Facilitator- Parent Information Program
  • Member – Self-Represented Litigants Bench & Bar Committee of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division)
  • Volunteer Mock Chambers Justice – Bar Admissions Course
  • Volunteer Moot Justice – 2nd Year Moot Court at Schulich Law School
  • Volunteer Coordinator – joint project of the Dal Pro Bono Student Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association on Human Rights issues
  • Chair of the Motor Vehicle Appeal Board (2013 — 2018)
  • Board member of the Adoption Appeal Board for the Province of Nova Scotia (2007 -2010)
  • Former Director — New Start
  • Former Chair— Halifax Developmental Pre-school
  • Former Vice President — Halifax Association from Community Living
  • Former Director —The North American Chronic Pain Association
  • Former Director Work Bridge
  • Volunteer Lawyer — ReachAbility


  • •Various presentations on fertility law for CBA Nova Scotia, Schulich Law School,
  • Osgoode Hall, and the National Family Law Program.
  • Overlapping Driving Suspensions and Prohibitions — NS Criminal Lawyers Association.
  • Tax Principles for Family Law — Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists

Election Essay

I see joining Council as a very meaningful way to be involved and make a difference in the legal profession. In my career, I have always been actively involved. I have volunteered on a number of committees (Family Law Standards, various committees to improve the Parent Information
Program) and paid board positions (Adoption Appeal Board, first Chair of the Motor Vehicle Appeal Board). I have held numerous leadership roles including the Canadian Bar Association — Nova Scotia Branch where I am currently Vice President and will take over as President this Fall.

I share all the Society’s core values and I strongly support the Society’s core value of Diversity. Being diverse and representative of society is a challenge for any organization, but it is crucial for the Society to actively promote and encourage diversity at every opportunity. I have grown up in culturally diverse neighbourhoods from Whitney Pier in Sydney to the North End of
Halifax where I currently live. Through my Fertility Law practice, I have done what I can to champion the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community to create their own families. For example, I have advocated for meaningful change by travelling to Ottawa three times to meet with Members of Parliament and Senators to promote changes to outdated legislation that creates unnecessary barriers.

One of my passions throughout my career, particularly in the last decade, has been to promote mental health. I have volunteered with a number of community groups (New Start, Work Bridge, Reachability, etc.) who have core clientele with various abilities and often struggle with mental health. The legal profession is not immune to these issues and a great deal more can be done to support members.

I bring 21 years of experience in diverse organizations such as small firms, Legal Aid, and large regional firms.