Nova Scotia

Cancer survivor killed in N.S. shooting was 'warmhearted,' 'quick to smile'

Gina Goulet, who was murdered in the mass shooting in Nova Scotia Sunday, is remembered as a kindhearted person with a love for music, dancing and fishing.

The 54-year-old Shubenacadie resident had a love for music, dancing

Gina Goulet is shown in a family handout photo. She was among the victims in the mass killing in Nova Scotia this past weekend. (Submitted by the Mass Casualty Commission)

Gina Goulet is remembered as a mother, a two-time cancer survivor and a lover of music and dancing.

Goulet, 54, was one of at least 20 victims killed in Nova Scotia Sunday in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern Canadian history.

Her daughter, Amelia Butler, told The Canadian Press her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer four years ago, and again last year.

Goulet had almost recovered from the second bout of cancer when she was killed.

"She fought so hard for her life," Butler told the news agency.

Goulet also enjoyed salsa dancing and would travel to Cuba whenever she got the chance — "the place where she was the happiest," said Butler.

The Shubenacadie, N.S., resident was a denturist for 27 years, but it's unclear if she knew the shooter, who worked in the same field.

'Just a lovely lady'

Bill Hellewell of Stewiacke, who plays with the Nova Scotia band Ruckus, first met Goulet several years ago through his neighbour.

In the years that followed, Goulet became a familiar, smiling face in the crowd at the band's gigs around Nova Scotia.

"The thing that sticks with me most about Gina was that she was very easy to talk to, and quick to smile," said Hellewell. "It didn't take long for us to figure out that we liked her."

Bill Hellewell says Goulet, far left, had a love for music and dancing. (Kathy Gurholt)

Hellewell said Goulet made friends with his wife and the wives of his bandmates.

Through the band, Hellewell said he's met hundreds of people, but Goulet stood out.

"Just a lovely lady," he said. "Just very warmhearted, and a person that sort of sticks with you."

Two dogs survived shooting

Goulet was also an avid angler who would often retreat to her cottage to go bass fishing with her two dogs: a German shepherd named Ginger and a 10-year-old chihuahua named Ellie.

The two dogs survived the shooting, but Ginger was shot twice, according to a Facebook post from David Butler, Goulet's son-in-law.

"Ginger was one of two animals that kept Gina Goulet company and were considered her prized possessions," he said.

Butler wrote the dog was treated for the gunshot wounds and is "on track to a full recovery."

Another dog, belonging to victims Jamie and Greg Blair, was also injured but is expecting to make a full recovery. 

If you are seeking mental health support during this time, here are resources available to Nova Scotians.

With files from The Canadian Press