Having a Criminal Record can negatively impact an individual in many areas of their life. A Criminal Record creates a barrier to: travel to other countries, rent property, purchase insurance, find stable work, be recognized as a professional body (law, medicine, accounting or teaching), or be bonded. Further, having a criminal record can negatively impact family court proceedings, opportunities to volunteer, adopting a child, and becoming a Canadian citizen.
Record Suspension: A record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) is a formal attempt to remove the stigma of a published record for people found guilty of a criminal offence and who, after satisfying specific criteria, have shown themselves to be responsible citizens in society. A record suspension removes a person’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This means that a search of CPIC will not show that you have a criminal record or a record suspension. This helps those who have committed criminal offences to access employment, educational opportunities and to reintegrate into society without their past continuously preventing them from moving forward with their life.
Between 2010- 2012, the Conservative government enacted a number of
provisions that make it more difficult for people to obtain a record
suspension. The Parole Board says 3,693 record suspensions were granted
from Mar. 13, 2012 – when the new rules kicked in – to Dec. 6, 2012.
Compare that to 24,000 pardons granted in 2009-10, the last full year
before Ottawa began changed the system
The Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP) is petitioning the government of Canada to restore the Record Suspension Legislation (formerly known as Pardons) to make it more accessible and available by:
1. Reducing the Record Suspension fee which jumped from $150 to $631.
2. Reducing the Waiting Period for when you can apply for the suspension:
Summary Offences: From 5 years down to 3 years
Indictable Offences: From 10 years down to 5 years
3. Ending Permanent Bans for individuals that have been convicted of more than 3 indictable offences.