Pardons Canada helps people across the entire country to remove old criminal records so that they can pursue a life of freedom without the burden of having a criminal record. The following email is from a person we helped to obtain a criminal record suspension for two assault convictions in Toronto:
I have successfully applied for and been granted a pardon for my previous charges and convictions. I wanted to take this time to thank you for your assistance in this matter.
From the beginning your service has been professional and supportive, and throughout the process your communication has always been prompt and relevant, be it email, traditional mail, or over the phone. Your officers are amiable, quite straight‐forward, and have provided excellent guidance throughout the process.
After some troubling times in my youth, I moved on to become an upstanding member of society. I am currently married, expecting a child, working as the head of a manufacturing company, and enjoy the arts and culture offered by my urban setting in Toronto. As I also volunteer in my community, some time back I decided to begin the process of becoming a Big Brother with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Toronto. I went through the training and selection process and was eager to begin, as was Big Brothers to assign a Little Brother to me.
However the final stage was a criminal background search, which displayed my previous transgressions: one criminal code conviction, and several criminal code charges that resulted in no convictions. I explained the circumstances to the organization, and also the changes in my life that had occurred since these infractions, and they agreed that I would still make an excellent candidate as a mentor to a troubled youth. Unfortunately though, the organization has a zero‐tolerance policy in this matter regarding certain charges, and could not make an exception in my case, even though I had not been convicted of the charges in question.
At first I was distraught, then disappointed, then angry, that something that had occurred years ago and for which I was not found guilty was still affecting my ability to live my life and give back to my community and those less fortunate. I felt that this was an unfair characterization, and felt frustrated that my words of explanation and assurance could not convince others as to the credibility of my current character.
With some apprehension I took the step of contacting Pardons Canada and moving forward with the process of record suspension. The agent that initially contacting me walked me through the entire process, including time frames and fees involved, and was straight‐forward and knowledgeable, answering all my questions while providing me with a realistic framework from which to view the process. Your agency kept in tight contact with me, always letting me know what was coming for the next step, what I needed to do, how I needed to do it, and by when it should be completed.
Overall the entire process was seamless, professional, and a positive choice. I am quite glad I took the time, spent the money, and pushed for my record suspension. When I finally received the letter from the Government of Canada indicating that my application for suspension had in fact been accepted, I was elated. I felt almost as if a burden had been lifted; a burden I did not know even existed until recently.
I now feel that I am truly a representation of my recent and current actions, results, and motives, and that I can be judged on my current character, rather than on that of my youth. I feel almost like a new person, who has shed the negative actions of previous years, and can move ahead based on my current character and motives. I have already begun the Big Brothers process again, and feel more motivated than ever to become more involved in my community, helping those less fortunate.
Again, thank you for the professional and courteous manner in which you assisted me in the process, and most importantly, thank you for the results!