Ottawa, 23 April 2020 

Women’s Shelters Canada is asking for the RCMP and the federal government to acknowledge the gendered aspect of this weekend’s mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

On Sunday, unconfirmed reports came in almost immediately that the perpetrator killed his former partner and her partner during his rampage. For those working to end violence against women, this was not surprising, as the majority of mass shootings in the USA have involved violence against a current or former female partner.

The massacre in Nova Scotia this weekend became Canada’s deadliest. The second and third deadliest also had misogyny and violence against women at their core. In the Montreal Massacre in 1989, the perpetrator explicitly targeted women and “feminists.” In the Toronto van attack, almost two years ago to the day, the perpetrator was involved in the incel movement and posted to social media shortly before carrying out his crime. 

We are calling on the media to ask relevant questions to the Prime Minister and to the RCMP in Nova Scotia, such as:

  1. Can you/when will you confirm that the perpetrator’s former partner and her partner were targeted?
  2. What was the perpetrator’s prior history with domestic violence?
  3. Was the perpetrator’s current partner targeted during the attacks?

We recognize how far-reaching and impactful these tragedies are on the families and their communities. Until we acknowledge the role that misogyny and violence against women played in this tragedy, we cannot begin to prevent others like it.


For media enquiries, contact:

Kaitlin Bardswich, Communications and Development Manager

Women’s Shelters Canada brings together 14 provincial and territorial shelter organizations. We work as a unified voice to collaborate, educate, and innovate for systemic change that ends violence against women, making Canada a model for safety in the world. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can find your nearest women’s shelter and its crisis line on