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Breaking Down the Pardon Process, Part 1: What is a Pardon?

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by Chris Heringer, CEO, Pardon Applications of Canada

Pardon Changes in 2012
Ever since the Conservative government made changes to the Criminal Records Act in 2012, there has been general confusion about the Canadian Pardon process in Canada. There are many steps involved in the process and the legislative changes added some complexity. This blog series will break down the process, what’s involved and all the key information you need to know.

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What is a Pardon?
The first thing you need to know is quite simply – what is a pardon? The official name has been changed to a “Record Suspension” but what it is remains the same.

Proponents of this name change suggest that it’s more respectful to the victims of crime, who may feel that the word “Pardon” implies complete exoneration of their offender. In addition, the term Record Suspension more accurately reflects what really happens with your record upon approval of the application – which is that a Pardoned criminal record is “sealed” and placed separate from publicly visible charges. In essence, the record is “suspended” from Canada’s criminal record database.

Others, however, feel that the name change just adds confusion to the Pardon process. The term Pardon has been in effect since the program’s inception in the 70’s. And overall, some feel that these changes in verbiage simply coincide with society’s generally fascination with complexity of language or political correctness.

Regardless of whether you call it a Pardon or Record Suspension, getting one represents a fresh start to an individual’s criminal record. An approved application will seal your record from public access. If you have a criminal record and you meet the eligibility requirements you may apply for a pardon/record suspension. Next, Pardon Applications of Canada will review the eligibility requirements.
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Chris Heringer is CEO/Chairman of Pardon Applications of Canada, a nationwide processing firm which serves thousands of Canadians yearly in the process to obtain a Canadian Pardon (Record Suspension) and/or U.S. Waiver application. For more information, obtain a free email qualification report or call 1-866-383-9744.