Pardons Canada
Record Suspension Canada is a division of Pardons Canada,
a Federal Non-Profit Organization Helping Canadians
Remove Criminal Records For Over 20 Years

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Record Suspension Canada A Division of Pardons Canada
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The Future of Pardons

Pardons in Canada are not going away despite a terminology change to Record Suspensions

Canadians are concerned that Pardons in Canada will be going away due to proposed legislation in Bill C-23. This is NOT the case.

It is true that the proposed changes to the pardons rules including a name change to Record Suspension will affect waiting periods and also will eliminate Pardons to certain sexual offenders and multiple offenders. This will affect a small minority of the people applying for Pardons who can no longer receive them.

Otherwise, the Pardon system will still exist (regardless of the name change to Record Suspension) and the affect will be the same, giving Canadians a second chance in life so that they can get jobs and be safe to travel to the U.S.

We help hundreds of people each week to obtain a Pardon. The current government is proposing to change the name from Pardon to Record Suspension, but the affect will still be the same; a new found freedom.

No doubt, punishments for criminal offences can be severe and in many cases warranted, and the burden of being labeled a “criminal” can be heavy. Thankfully, a Pardon or Record Suspension can provide you with a second chance in life once your punishment has been served and a proper amount of time has passed to make you eligible.

A Case To Keep Pardons in Canada Even If Called Record Suspensions

There has been a lot of media attention on Pardons in Canada mainly because the Tory government is proposing to change the rules of Pardons, including changing the terminology to Record Suspensions and increasing the fees through a proposed Bill C-23.

We are against the changes because Bill C-23 will make it more difficult and expensive for people to obtain a Pardon, especially now when having a criminal record will prevent people from getting work and traveling to the U.S. Most employers in the country are running criminal record checks, so even really old convictions will show up and prevent people from getting a job.

Each day our company helps people obtain a Pardon for old criminal offences and they are hugely grateful for the opportunity of having a second chance in life and being able to move forward without any obstacles.

Below is a wonderful article in support of pardons from the CBC:

Letter from Pardons Canada Opposing Bill C-23 and it Proposal to Change the Name to “Record Suspension”

We have been active in opposing the changes proposed by the Tory Government in Bill C-23 regarding current Pardons rules. The current system works, as evidenced by a 96% success rate of pardoned offenders NOT re-offending.

Below is a letter from Pardons Canada to the opposition parties regarding one specific clause of the bill which proposes changing the name from “Pardons” to “Record Suspension”:

Pardons Canada is a non-profit organization that helps thousands of Canadians navigate the process of obtaining a pardon. Pardons Canada is a resource to more than 5,400 government and community agencies and sees first-hand the benefit of Canada’s pardons system.

I am writing to you out of a concern I have with changes being proposed in Bill C-23B, the Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act. Not only will it be more difficult for people to obtain pardons but the proposed substitution of “record suspension” in place of a “pardon” will have a significant impact on the employment eligibility of thousands of Canadians who have already received pardons.

Most employers and volunteer organizations in Canada conduct local and/or federal criminal record searches before hiring. Discovery of a criminal record can negatively affect the chances of someone getting a job. Under the current system, employment applications, including forms within the Federal Public Service, ask prospective employees if they have a criminal record to which they have not received a pardon. If the proposed changes under Bill C-23B are accepted, one could conclude that employment applications will now ask if they have a criminal record to which they have not received a record suspension. The legislation states that pardons will not be granted in the future but does not speak to those who have already been pardoned in the current system.

This becomes an issue for the thousands of people who have received pardons as this terminology will no longer be recognized. According to the Parole Board of Canada, more than 400,000 Canadians have received pardons since 1970 and 96% of these pardons remain in force.

A provision needs to be included in the proposed legislation that would allow employment contracts to recognize both a record suspension as well as a previous pardon. An alternative could be to have the words “pardon” and “record suspension” carry the same meaning in the Act. This will ensure that those who were granted pardons prior to the implementation of Bill C-23B would not arbitrarily BE impacted from obtaining employment opportunities. Failing to accommodate this amendment will prove to be a serious employment impediment to the thousands of Canadians who have paid their debt to society and have demonstrated a commitment to obeying the law.

Bill C-23B is currently before the Standing Committee of Public Safety and National Security. There is a real opportunity to put forward an amendment that would resolve the issue and ensure that those with previous pardons are not discriminated against. As an active member of the committee, I would very much like an opportunity to speak with you about this issue. I will be in touch with your office to make arrangements for a telephone conversation.