Council Election

2019 Council Election

As the profession's governing body, Council sets the Society's strategic direction, strives for excellence in regulation and ensures the Society acts in the public interest. Council members lead the Society and lend their voices and unique insights to decisions that impact Nova Scotia's legal profession. 

Council elections occur every odd-numbered calendar year and are an opportunity to seek a diversity of representation as the Society continues to provide leadership, value and support to a competent, ethical, inclusive and engaged legal profession.

The Society has a two-phase Council election process. First, the District Election elects practising members geographically from around the province. The second phase is the At-Large Election which elects both practising and non-practising members to fill in existing gaps on Council as the Society seeks a diversity of representation.

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).

Latest Election News (Updated April 8, 2019)

A Word from your President

Frank DeMont QC

2019 is a Council election year.

If you are interested in leading the Society in how it undertakes its mandate, you should consider running for Council.

Council needs individuals who have experience or are committed to working in such areas as regulation, governance, and access to justice or equity matters, who are strategic thinkers with strong communication skills, who come from diverse backgrounds and areas of practice, who are of unquestionable integrity and respectful of others, and who may have held leadership roles in other organizations (e.g. board member, mentor, volunteer coach, etc.).  

The Society has moved into the new era of legal services regulation and has been applying a Proactive, Principled and Proportionate (Triple P) approach to regulation. Council has also committed the Society to enhancing access to legal services and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession and justice system.

The Society will continue its commitment to innovation in the delivery of legal services and promotion of equity, all with the intention of regulating the profession in the public interest.

I urge all lawyers to consider running for Council and taking on one of the most important roles we have to ensure continued self-governance of an independent legal profession. For some it may be a step outside of their comfort zone. I expect that most who have done so have found the work rewarding.

I particularly want to encourage lawyers from equity-seeking communities to consider running as we aim to increase diversity among Council Members to better represent the makeup of our Bar. 


Read the President's letter here

At-Large Election Candidates

The Society’s At-Large Election, the second phase of the Council Election process following the District Election, elects both practising and non-practising members to fill in existing gaps on Council as the Society seeks a diversity of representation.

Through the At-Large Election, the Society seeks to ensure that Council reflects the membership it represents and includes members from:

  • equity-seeking groups;
  • different practice areas (e.g., corporate, litigation, property, family, etc.);
  • different practice venues (e.g., private firm, government, legal aid, etc.); and
  • other areas of potential under-representation that may be identified.

There will be an election for the three At-Large Positions on Council. The candidates are:

  • Brian Awad, McInnes Cooper
  • Cheryl Canning QC, Burchells LLP
  • Mark Everett, Nova Scotia Power
  • Christine Nault, Intact Insurance
  • Melanie Petrunia, Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia
  • Diane Rowe, NS Department of Justice – Legal Services
  • Jack Townsend, NS Department of Justice – Legal Services
Voting is conducted online and is open to all members from Monday, April 15 at 8:00 AM to Monday, April 22 at 5:00 PM. 

Learn more about the At-Large Election Candidates here

Halifax District Election Results 

Four members were elected to the Society’s Council following the 2019 Halifax District Election (March 4-18). They will begin their two-year terms following the 2019 Annual Meeting on June 15th.

The successful candidates were Sheree Conlon QC, Josie McKinney, Michelle Kelly, Deanna Frappier QC. As Council members, these successful candidates will lead the Society and lend their voices and unique insights to decisions that impact Nova Scotia's legal profession. Learn more about the newly elected Council members here. 

2019 Halifax District Election Results 

  • Sheree Conlon QC - 335 votes (19 % of votes)
  • Josie McKinney - 312 votes (18% of votes)
  • Michelle Kelly - 309 votes (18 % of votes)
  • Deanna Frappier QC - 268 votes (16% of votes) 
  • Cheryl A. Canning QC - 251 votes (15% of votes)
  • Brian K. Awad - 246 votes (14% of votes)

Voter turnout for this election was 30.96% with 579 votes of a total 1870 eligible voters casting electronic ballots.

Thank you to our members who participated in the 2019 Halifax District Election!

District Election Acclamations

Two candidates were nominated in Cape Breton and Central Districts, and one candidate in Southwestern District, so elections are not required in those districts. The following nominees are acclaimed as Council members for the 2019-2021 term:

Cape Breton

Jillian Barrington, Sydney – Sheldon Nathanson Law

Shane Russell, Sydney – Public Prosecution Service


Ellen Burke, New Glasgow/Truro – Patterson Law

J. Patrick Young, Pictou – Public Prosecution Service


David Hirtle, Lunenburg – Hirtle Legal Services Inc.

There is a vacancy in the Southwestern District which will be filled by an appointments process (see Regulation 2.3.5). Practicing members in the Southwestern District will receive direct notice of the appointments process. 

For more information: 

Please contact the Society's Governance Officer, Julia Schabas via email at or call 902-377-6344. Your message will be returned within two business days.