Pardon Changes in Canada
Pardon changes in Canada are consistent with the idea that while the word pardon is used internationally, as of March, 2012, Canada has become an anomaly by replacing the term ‘pardon’ with ‘record suspension’.
These pardon changes involve changes to the actual system of sealing criminal records in Canada, introducing a greater amount of difficulty in the actual process than ever before.
Conservative Pardon Changes
The idea behind this change was highlighted in 2010 by the Conservative government: the fundamental idea of getting ‘tough on crime’. By this dictum, the idea was that a ‘pardon’ was too forgiving on those who have committed crimes in our society. As such, when a pardon was granted, it was often forgotten about, taken for granted, and sometimes, individuals forgot about the promise they made to remain law-abiding.
An individual who has committed a criminal offence in the past and who seeks to put their criminal history behind them can now suspend their record. With a ‘record suspension’, as opposed to a ‘pardon’, an individual does not receive total forgiveness for their crimes. The temporary nature of the term ‘suspension’ translates to the idea that the individual has to show at all times that they are law-abiding. At any instance where it is believed that they have violated this criterion, the suspension of their record could be removed.
Canadian Pardon Changes
Canadian Pardon changes have been in place since March 2012. These changes have introduced a greater level of complication into the system. Canadian pardon changes have altered the field of putting criminal records away for those individuals who seek to be reintegrated with society because of their law-abiding ways.
The Canadian pardon changes are such that they have in fact flushed the word ‘pardon’ from the system. The system is now called a ‘record suspension’ system, and those individuals who wish to seal their record must now apply for a ‘record suspension’.
These Canadian pardon changes have not just replaced the word pardon, but have injected more complexity into the actual process of applying for a pardon - or, as it is now called, a record suspension. There is a greater amount of subjectivity in the application process, with every applicant needing to show more liability. There is a greater need for attention to detail, as the review of every application will ensure that errors and incomplete applications result in delayed or denied applications.