Must reading for anyone seeking a pardon
Pardons can be revoked, which raises the question of whether a pardon is a pardon or not. A pardon will automatically be revoked if you are convicted of an indictable offence. The National Parole Board may revoke the pardon if you are later convicted of a summary offence or are considered to be "no longer of good conduct." It can also be revoked if you made a misleading or false statement when you applied
Once you obtain a pardon, any federal agency or department that has record of your convictions must keep those records separate. Note that they do not have to and do not destroy your records, they merely move them to separate location. These agencies may not disclose any pardoned information without permission from the Solicitor General of Canada.
If you are prohibited under the Criminal Code of Canada from driving a vehicle or possessing a firearm for a specified time period, a pardon will not reduce or remove these prohibitions or restore your privileges.
Not necessarily. A pardon is no guarantee of entry or obtaining visas for any other country. The USA is particularly ruthless about preventing the entry of any one with a criminal conviction.
Generally even with a pardon, you will still need a USA Waiver to enter or even overfly the United States.
US Customs have become extremely tough and generally will refuse admission to the US, even for day visits, to anyone with a conviction for any offense, no matter how slight. They have been given access to Canadian police computer records. Very few people attempting to cross the US border can slip by without their record showing up. It is not recommended that anyone attempt to do so, as this could result in seizure of your car, property, huge fines and permanent banning from ever entering the US.
Anyone with a record, pardoned or not, should apply for a US waiver which grants some limited permission to enter the US. More on waivers here>>.
No. The Canadian Human Rights Act says that you can't be discriminated against because of a pardoned conviction. (However, forbidding discrimination and preventing it are two entirely different issues.) This prohibition includes services you may need or the eligibility to work for a federal employer. Crown corporations, the federal public service, federal agencies and the Canadian Forces cannot use application forms that asks any question which would reveal a pardoned conviction. Private employers and volunteer agencies can and do ask questions designed to reveal any criminal record. For example, one device some employers use is putting a question on an application which asks if you have any criminal convictions. They then say you do not have to answer the question, but of course if you fail to answer, they draw the obvious inference.
What are the Good Conduct Criteria? They are based largely on what the person processing your application says it is, according to the Criminal Record Act,
If you meet the good conduct criteria and are granted a Record Suspension, you can expect the following benefits
2.3 A record suspension
(a) is evidence of the fact that
(i) the Board, after making inquiries, was
satisfied that the applicant was of good
(ii) the conviction in respect of which the
record suspension is ordered should no
longer reflect adversely on the applicant’s
(b) unless the record suspension is subsequently
revoked or ceases to have effect, requires
that the judicial record of the conviction
be kept separate and apart from other
criminal records and removes any disqualification
or obligation to which the applicant is,
by reason of the conviction, subject under
any Act of Parliament — other than section
109, 110, 161, 259, 490.012, 490.019 or
490.02901 of the Criminal Code, subsection
147.1(1) or section 227.01 or 227.06 of the
National Defence Act or section 36.1 of the
International Transfer of Offenders Act.
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) defines a record suspension, (previously referred to as a pardon) as “…a formal attempt to remove the stigma of a criminal record for people who … have satisfied [their] sentence and remained crime free.”[i] However it is important to realize that remaining “crime free” is not necessarily the only requirement that must be met in order for a pardon to be granted. All individuals wishing to obtain a record suspension must also demonstrate that they have maintained “good conduct”; the criteria for which remains at the discretion of the Parole Board of Canada.
Anyone who has been convicted of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada can apply for a pardon. This applies even if you are not a Canadian citizen or resident. If you are a Canadian citizen and have been convicted in another country but returned to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act, you may also apply
Pardons are now officially called "Record Suspension."
If you are qualified for a pardon, you cannot be denied. You have a right to a pardon.
No. Discharges do not result in criminal records. However discharges will show on your police and RCMP record even though they are not convictions. If your absolute discharge occurred after July 1992, the RCMP is supposed to automatically remove that information from their computer one year after the court decision. If it was a conditional discharge, the information will be removed three years after the court decision. You should verify that this has been done by contacting the RCMP. Chances are it was not.
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