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A Pardon in this sense, is an official government 'foregiveness' for criminal convictions.
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Before the application may be made, certain things must be obtained, which may involve some costs. Once the application is made, the Parole Board will investigate and decide, taking about twelve months. If the Parole Board is planning to reject the application, we will be told why, and then have the opportunity to make written or oral arguements and call evidence before they decide finally. If the board approves the application, it goes to the Solicitor General, who takes it before the federal cabinet for final approval. The latter two stages almost never change the decision of the board.
Receiving a Pardon does not mean you have no criminal record or have never been found guilty. It does mean that any federal government employees must keep your criminal record separate from other records, and that your criminal record may not be released to anyone without special permission of the Solicitor General of Canada. In addition, it is against the Canadian Human Rights Act (which applies to anything within the federal jurisdiction) to discriminate on the basis of a pardoned conviction.
Provincial or private bodies or other countries aren't bound by either the rules about the records of the Canadian Human Rights Act . However, it is obvious that a Pardon will be helpful in dealing with these people, and usually the provincial governments cooperate and keep the records separate as well.
A Pardon is only available for breaches of federal Acts and regulations. That includes all criminal offences and most drug offences. There is a waiting period after the sentence has been completed, of two years if the offence was 'summary', five years if the offence was 'indictable'. That waiting period is reduced by two years if a 'Discharge', either 'absolute' or 'conditional' was received. If your conviction was under the Young Offenders Act, it contains similar periods, but has an automatic equivalent of a Pardon.
A Pardon can be revoked if there are any more offences, or for misrepresentations in the application.
We must try to obtain a copy of the criminal record from the R.C.M.P, and they require fingerprints. Sometimes they won't have the record and it must be obtained elsewhere. We must, with certain exceptions, obtain a copy of the Court Record of the offence. That is easier if we have the record from the R.C.M.P. already. If a person has served in the military, they must obtain a 'military conduct record'. Sixty days should be allowed for these stages. Finally, the application form must be completed. These materials are kept confidential.
The Parole Board will get the R.C.M.P. to investigate. They will try to be discreet and not tell people what the matter is about but they cannot guarantee anything, especially since they may have to use outside agencies. In the application form, we can indicate people who they should not contact.
I will charge $100.00 for my time on this application unless something unusual and greatly time consuming develops. I also charge for anything I must spend on this matter (disbursements). I would appreciate a deposit of $250.00 before beginning.
Please contact me to obtain my questionairre and a plastic strip for your fingerprints.
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