What is a Criminal Record Suspension?

A Criminal Record Suspension is the updated name for a Canadian Pardon after the conservative government amended the Criminal Records Act in 2012. The reason for the change in terminology likely reflected the fact that a Criminal Record Suspension can be revoked if the person in question re-offends. In contrast, the term “pardon” could imply complete & indefinite exoneration. It is consistent with the trend toward political correctness. The Parole Board of Canada, the government body responsible for making the decision on submitted Criminal Record Suspension applications, also communicated that the term “suspension” better depicts what actually occurs when an individual’s record is pardoned. Specifically, the record is placed separate, or suspended from, the visible portion of the CPIC database. But the charges never really “go away”.