New Changes to Pardon/Record Suspension

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

September 7, 2017

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Updates for Record Suspension (formerly Pardon) applicants currently living in BC or Ontario convicted before March 2012

Important update for Record Suspension applicants currently residing in BC and Ontario.  The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is upholding recent court decisions in the Provinces of BC & Ontario.  The courts in these two Provinces have ruled that retroactive changes to the eligibility for pardons under the Harper government “Tough on Crime” bill C-10 that came into effect March 13, 2012, violate the charter of rights.  The courts have ruled that for those currently living in BC or Ontario who were convicted prior to the bill being passed are able to apply under former legislation waiting periods.  The submission fee of $631 will remain in effect.

Bill C-10 changed the eligibility periods from 3 to 5 on a summary offence (less serious), and 5 to 10 years for an indictable offence (more serious).  This waiting period would start upon the completion of your sentence including house arrest, jail, probation, fines or restitution.  Some offences were made ineligible for a Record Suspension, like sexual offences against a minor & those with more than 3 indictable offences, each with a prison sentence of 2 years or more.

This ruling does not apply to other Provinces, Territories or those living outside of Canada.  These individuals must apply under the current legislation.  We are hopeful that the Liberal government will move towards reversing the legislation completely. Ralph Goodale (Public Safety Minister) has said the Liberal government is reviewing the BC Supreme Court decision to determine their next steps including the possibility of reversing some of the previous Conservative government’s changes to the record suspension process.


Parole Board of Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/parole-board/services/record-suspensions/information-for-bc-and-ontario-residents-applying-for-a-record-suspension.html

Articles re: BC and Ontario Court Cases:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pardons-criminal-records-record-suspensions-1.4076237

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/retroactive-changes-to-criminal-pardons-found-unconstitutional

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