Express Pardons Canada

Express Pardons Canada

August 16, 2011 09:00 ET

Express Pardons Raises Public Awareness on Criminal Records and Pardons in Canada as Conservatives Inch Closer to a Pardons Fee Increase

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 16, 2011) - Express Pardons Canada -

Editors Note: There is one video associated with this Press Release.

On Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 Express Pardons Canada took to the streets of Metro Vancouver to raise awareness on the incidence of criminal records and the impact they have on regular, hard-working Canadians. Through a unique and impactful awareness campaign dubbed '1 in 7' Express Pardons aimed to shed light on the lesser-known facts about criminal records and the importance of pardons in Canada. The campaign couldn't have come at a better time, as the Conservative majority Government in Canada has rushed to put forward a 'Crime Omni-Bill', which will directly impact the way that criminal records are recognized and handled. Additionally, the Government is actively pursuing legislation change which will see the price for pardons in Canada increase significantly.

Most people are unaware that 1 in 7 adult Canadian (4.2 million Canadians) have a criminal record. Whether it is the person sitting next to you on the bus, a friend, relative, or colleague, chances are that someone you know has a criminal record. Most of these records account for minor offences, and in many cases are for mistakes made years ago that people are trying to put behind them.

Having a criminal record in Canada, even for a minor offence, can dramatically hinder a person's ability to find employment, volunteer, travel, and even obtain an education. Pardons provide the ability for those qualified through a formal legal process to eliminate their criminal record from continuing to hold them back.

Express Pardons Canada works with the Parole Board of Canada to petition for a pardon on a client's behalf. The majority of applicants who receive a pardon (96%) have not reoffended, and the majority of pardons in Canada issued are for minor offences.

The Conservative Party of Canada is attempting to make it difficult for Canadians to obtain a pardon through a 'Crime Omni-Bill' and are also proposing a pardons fee increase of nearly quadruple the current cost. Despite significant public outcry and an internal Government Board review recommendation against the pardons fee increase, the Government continues to move aggressively towards the change.

Conservative spokesperson, Michael Patton explained to CBC Radio "Canadians gave our Government a strong mandate to put the rights of law abiding Canadians ahead of the rights of criminals. Record suspensions (pardons) are not a right. That is why we are proposing that criminals pay their own way when applying for a record suspension."

Ainsley Muller, of Express Pardons, however, counters the Government's position, pointing out that "It is a right of Canadians who have satisfied the terms of their sentencing and have demonstrated the desire to once again become contributing members of society to not be stuck in a cycle of unnecessarily punitive measures."

Muller and Express Pardons take the position that it is unfair to refer to all Canadians who have a criminal record as 'criminals'.

"Most of the clients that come to us are facing a situation where they made a mistake (a bar fight or driving offence) twenty or thirty years ago and are now faced with living their entire life with the same brand as someone who willfully defrauded, robbed, murdered or abused someone," Muller points out.

The proposed 'Crime Omni-Bill' and pardons fee increase will undoubtedly have a negative impact on 4.2 million (1 in 7) adults in Canada - many of which will no longer be able to afford the cost of a pardon and may be pushed into a cycle of poverty or difficulty as a result of being barred from employment, travel or education.

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Contact Information

  • Express Pardons Canada
    Sara Padidar
    Media Contact