There are plenty of careers with promise in Canada, and it’s both common and understandable for many Canadians to seek out professions that provide a mix of financial security and stability. One of the most secure careers that Canadians can get for themselves lies in the government sector. These are not easy jobs, but they are both necessary and, for the people that are selected, provide a lot of incentives, such as many employment benefits like additional insurance coverage for things like family dental plans.
However, it should surprise no one that becoming an official government employee is not as fast, easy or as simple as filling out an application, handing it in and hoping for the best. Various government positions will have very specific, demanding qualifications, and, in many cases, will require a specific kind of character. What does this mean then, for people that have a criminal record?
Not All Violations Are Alike
Because a government position often carries with it a greater sense of authority and responsibility, that means that it’s strictly professional qualifications that influence a candidate’s appropriateness for a position. Just as much as an ability to do the job, a certain moral character is also often desired, especially when such jobs may have an impact on the general Canadian population. Because of this background checks are normally required when applying for a government position.
What this means on a practical level is that anyone with a criminal conviction in their past cannot, and should not hide this during the application process. The presence of that record will be seen and scrutinized during the application process, so just attempting to hide it is guaranteed grounds for being put out of the running. However, the presence of a criminal record is not necessarily a 100% guarantee that a person is no longer suitable for selection.
While there is a very broad separation between misdemeanours, such as speeding tickets, and criminal acts, like theft. There are degrees of severity within criminal convictions themselves. Theft, for example, is definitely a criminal act, but the courts recognize there is a world of difference between a child shoplifting a chocolate bar from a convenience store, and an accountant defrauding a company of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Different Positions, Different Requirements
What this means is that depending on the type of criminal conviction a person has, its presence is not a 100% absolute guarantee of being dismissed from consideration. Someone with a criminal conviction for being arrested as a result of defending others during a fight in a counter-protest against racism, for example, is not considered in the same league as someone with a conviction for murder.
This is why it’s important, when considering applying for a government position to carefully go over all the professional and character requirements. Some positions may have no tolerance for any kind of criminal conviction, while others will disbar applicants that only have specific types of convictions.
Play It Safe
Of course, the easiest way to avoid this issue is to get a record suspension or pardon if you already have a conviction in place. Pardons Canada can help. We know the process, timeline and requirements for getting a successful record suspension and we want all Canadians to have as many doors open as possible.