Record Suspension in Canada – what are they all about?
Remember: if you are looking for a pardon or record suspension, try a Canadian Pardon | Record Suspension Service.
In this blog, I’ll be discussing some recent updates to Bill C-23 (now Bill C-23A and Bill C-23B) – which aims to make significant changes to the Criminal Records Act.
Increase in Canadian pardon applications
If the proposed Bill C-23A and B becomes law, people with criminal records will have to wait longer after they’ve completed their sentence before they can apply for a “record suspension” (currently called a “pardon”). Wait times will increase from 3 to 5 years for less serious convictions (for summary conviction offences) and from 5 to 10 years for more serious convictions (for indictable offences). Furthermore, some people who are now eligible for a “pardon” will no longer be eligible for a “record suspension” because there are new rules concerning eligibility (again, assuming the Bill gets passed into law as is). For example, people who have been convicted of 3 indictable offences or offences of a sexual nature will no longer be eligible for a record suspension. With the threat of increased waiting times and more stringent thresholds to be met, people are now rushing to get a pardon before the Bill passes into law (which is currently being rushed through in Parliament). For example, Peter Dimakos of Canadian Pardons has said: “We’ve doubled our staff to handle applications, and asked them to work Saturdays as well until the new rules come into law” (source: Ingrid Phaneuf, “Pardons Paranoia? Are proposed new pardons rules reason for concern, or simply…”, Truck News (July 1, 2010).