Every year, many Canadians and residents are prevented from securing new jobs, getting
promotions, doing volunteer work, and traveling to other countries due to their criminal record.
Obtaining a Pardon can help solve this problem and allow these individuals to live their life as
law-abiding citizens in good standing.
Numerous policies focus on the rehabilitation and reintegration of such individuals in a way that
is safe and mutually beneficial, and Pardons play an important role in this process. It provides an
opportunity for a fresh start and is a unique privilege in Canada, which is not available in most
countries around the world.
Get a Pardon and Start a New Life
The existing Pardon system functions successfully. More than 500,000 Canadian citizens &
residents have received a Pardon since the 1970’s. This means that the majority of Pardon
recipients have remained crime-free and contribute positively towards the community.
The stigma behind the label of being a criminal is a reality today, and that is the reason a clear
criminal record is required for several opportunities. It has detrimental implications for
individuals who are seeking a fresh start because employment normalizes and stabilizes
individuals’ lives. The absence of such opportunities only contributes to increasing the risk of
“More than 500,000 Canadian citizens & residents have received a Pardon since the 1970’s. This means that the majority of Pardon recipients have remained crime-free and contribute positively towards the community.”
Some believe that such individuals should be flagged indefinitely to protect the general society.
This belief ignores the fact that having a criminal record is more common than one might assume. More than 3.8 million Canadian citizens have been engaged in crimes such as property mishandling, mischief, or theft, etc.
Some of the individuals have desisted criminal activities and are low risk to society. An individual may have made a poor decision in their early adulthood and has now become an engaged member of the community. These people should not have to miss out on a better life, and thus a pardon can go a long way in helping them out.
Pardon Laws in Canada
Pardon laws in Canada are designed for the explicit purpose of fostering the reintegration of such individuals who have made significant changes in their lives to become a valuable member of society. They are not made to absolve individuals of their past. Making the process of obtaining a Pardon less attainable by increasing the fees or making the Pardon eligibility criteria stricter is not going to lead to increased safety.
Pardons are also symbolically important for what they stand for. They provide individuals the
recognition that they are a person of good conduct, which in turn, rehabilitates their reputation
in the general society. For many individuals, this is a big enough reason to apply for a Pardon.
These people are then accepted into various employment, housing, travel, and volunteering
opportunities that can further improve their personal development and growth.
The process of getting a Pardon in Canada is unique, with an unbiased system in place which is
trusted to be fair and humane for all. Pardon Applications of Canada assists individuals with
criminal records in obtaining a Pardon so that they can work for the betterment of society.
About the Author
Fareha Khurram is a Research Analyst with Pardon Applications of Canada.