The Portapique sign on Highway 2 was adorned with a NS tartan sash following the mass shooting that began there on April 18, 2020. Photo: Joan Baxter

Today, the RCMP announced that three people, including Lisa Banfield, the commonlaw spouse of the killer, have been charged with providing the killer ammunition used in the mass murders of April 18/19. They are:

  • James Blair Banfield, 64-years-old of Sackville
  • Lisa Diane Banfield, 52-years-old of Dartmouth
  • Brian Brewster, 60-years-old of Sackville

According to the RCMP release, the three have been charged with the following offences: “between the 17th day of March and 18th day of April 2020, unlawfully, transferred ammunition, specifically, .223 caliber Remington cartridges and .40 caliber Smith and Wesson cartridges, contrary to Section 101 of the Criminal Code.”

That section prohibits the transfer of “a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, any ammunition or any prohibited ammunition to any person” to a person who is not licensed to possess such arms. The killer, who the Examiner refers to as GW, had no firearms licence.

Violation of the code is punishable by up to five years in prison.

“Based on the investigation to date in which those charged cooperated, these individuals had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18 and 19,” reads the release. “In addition, investigators have determined the ammunition was purchased and trafficked in Nova Scotia.”

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

Join the Conversation


Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
  1. Duress= Twinkie. If every act is going to be explained away by the the duress-defense, lets ditch this law. In fact, all laws…… but we should remember that Jane Hurshman was both a convicted criminal AND a much abused victim. The two things, together, are possible, folks…

  2. If ever there was a case for discretion it would be here, in charging the common law spouse, who pretty clearly had to have been under duress

    1. How is that pretty clear? Was her brother James Banfield, who was also charged, under duress? Was her brother-in-law Brian Brewster, who was also charged, under duress?

      1. Who could know?

        I think we’re missing a lot of context, but especially and most importantly that gender based violence shows up in lots of ways (including being coerced or forced into illegal acts), and that any victim blaming will prevent other women from coming forward when they may be complicit, or feel they may be made to look complicit, in a crime.

        1. If Wortman’s intimate partner had been male and a victim of domestic violence, would the public response be the same? I’m guessing we wouldn’t have heard anything from Nova Scotia Feminists Fighting Femicide.

          “More than 22,323 Canadian men and women in same-sex relationships reported to police they were victims of domestic violence in a recent eight-year period, according to an analysis by the justice division of Statistics Canada. The Canadian report echoes the general findings in U.S. studies, which suggest rates of intimate-partner violence among same-sex couples are equal to or greater than those among heterosexual couples — and that same-sex couples can face unique challenges when domestic disputes escalate into physical or emotional violence.”