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Bill C23B set to pass, Part of Omni Bus Crime Bill

With the Conservative Majority government having submitted the Safe Streets and Communities Act, also known as the Omni Bus Crime Bill, it is now a near certainty that Bill C23B an act to eliminate pardons for serious crimes will be passed. Bill C23B is just one of 9 bills included in the new crime bill that the Conservatives are intent on passing within 100 sitting days of parliament. The new bill is Bill C10.

So what does all this mean for people who have not yet been granted a pardon?

There are a few measures in the bill that could potentially affect you very seriously. Some will have no effect whatsoever.

The term pardon is sure to be swapped for the term record suspension. This is meaningless. If you are still eligible for a record suspension then it will mean exactly the same thing as a pardon. So call it whatever you like. I am quite certain the term pardon will continue to be widely used anyway.

Waiting periods will change to 5 years for summary offences and ten years for indictable offences.

Perhaps the worst measure in this bill is that people with more than three indictable offences will no longer be eligible for a pardon. The number of solid upstanding people I have talked to who turned their lives around is beyond counting. Many of them had more than three indictable charges on their record.

Pardons will no longer be accessible for anyone with a sexual related offence against a minor. This seems like a very reasonable measure until you hear stories of someone in their early 20’s having sex with his/her 17 year old girlfriend/boyfriend. Does it really make sense to label these people child sex offenders for the rest of their lives?

The other measure that is likely to come into effect but is not actually a part of the legislation is that the fee for a pardon is set to increase dramatically to $631, unless the Conservatives come up with another odd number. At the moment the fee payable to the Parole Board is $150.

If you have any questions about record suspensions or other matter relating to the removal of criminal records you can email me any time.

Michael Ashby

mashby@nationalpardon.org

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Comment (0)
Ken / September 21, 2011

can you tell me when exactly this will take effect?

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Michael Ashby / September 22, 2011

I wish I could but we don’t know. It has only been introduced and will have to go through the various stages of committee.

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john / September 25, 2011

hi Michael,14 years ago i was charged with possession of cocaine with (suspicion) of selling and it was written as an indictable offence,i spent one night in jail with a court fine of $1000.,i only paid the fine 3 and a half years ago which leaves another year and a half before i can apply for a pardon,,,given what i have explained here,will the new bill affect my pardon in a year and a half or will i be part of the 10 year penalty phase?I was planning on starting my file next week at the national pardon centre in montreal,,should i wait to hear more news or do you have an idea what might happen in my situation?,,,,,,, Thank you for your time.

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Michael Ashby / September 25, 2011

Hi John,

Unfortunatly it means you will have to wait ten years. We hope to get this amended but right now it doesn’t look very good in my opinion.

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john / September 25, 2011

thank you Michael,so their way of thinking,(from the way i see it)is to make it impossible for those who made a mistake in their past to become a working class taxpaying member of society since most jobs do a record check,,,which leads to more people working under the table or standing in the welfare line or finding illegal ways to make a paycheck,,,now i know why they want to build more prisons,after this bill passes they realise they’re going to need more prison space.I can understand being tough on pedophiles or violent offenders or repeat offenders,but 1 possession charge from way back should not be a reason to push someone deeper into a hole when they’ve already spent years trying to put it behind them and move in the right direction.Looks like myself and others have to find new ways to put food on the table since any legal window of opportunity for a decent job will continue to close for years to come ,,,,,,,,,,thanks again Michael,wish me luck.,,and if by chance something in the bill changes for the better please email me blue_1968@hotmail.com

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Michael Ashby / September 25, 2011

Hi John,
Unforunately the Tories have made it clear that this is not about creating strong public policy. The previous bill on pardons set the waiting periods at 3 years for summary offences, 5 years for indictable offences and then 10 years for serious personal injury offecnes and some sexual offences. This seemed quite sensible to those of use working in the industry since it was hard to understand how someone with a charge like yours should wait the same amount of time as someone who caused serious physical injury to a a fellow human being. The problem is that the 3, 5, 10 criteria was tabled by the NDP so it can’t possibly be the right way to go, if you follow the Conservative train of thought. This crime bill is about politics and nothing else. They have no intention of debating the merits of it because there are too many people who hear the words “tough on crime” and agree without looking any closer. Anyway hang in there. A lot of work is being done to stop this. The John howard Society is particularly concerned about the pardons section. Things may change.

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john / September 25, 2011

I’ll keep my fingers crossed Michael.Any idea when we might get word on any changes if any?Is there a site that keeps people up to date on this situation as it happens or should i keep in touch with you now and again?,,,thank you.

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Michael Ashby / September 25, 2011

Well you can certainly watch this blog or eamil any time you like. There is an RSS feed at the top. If anything significant happens you can bet I will be commenting on it.

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john / September 25, 2011

thank you michael,i will be checking in here every day,,,

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Dean / October 21, 2011

DUI 4 years ago…took almost two years to convict(BS.. I was never in the car!!!,keys in the ignition and I passed out on my front lawn going back to lock the front door of my house.)
Anyways, convicted.
1 year suspension of driver’s License.$1500 fine.
Paid the fine last year….unbeknownst to me that, I have to wait time frame after all court fines are paid.
So,now is it three years, or five?
Any hope at all?????
Previous criminal record is over 10 years old..several indictable offences(don’t get why…some people are guilty of the same offence,yet receive summary conviction????)
DUI occurred in 2007.Buried me!!!
….and it’s already almost five years old!!!
No charges since.
If I was a problem in society,it would be apparent within that time frame,I make mistakes…just like everyone else.
Businessman with several ventures currently undertaking,raising a three year old daughter as well and happily married.
Don’t drink,smoke or do any drugs.
GO to church on Sundays
Love my family,my life…..paid my debt!
When does it end?????
The label never wears off with this sort of legislation.
I didn’t kill no one.I regret my prior lifestyle.People change.
I am a valued contributing member of society.
I need a new label.
If a person has a chance to be rehabilitated while incarcerated in prison,then why isn’t someone in society,who has done so on their own,by their own will,not rewarded rather than further punished.
To carry a label for an entire lifetime is absurd.
I am rehabilitated.
I am not a criminal,nor do I wish to be recognized as one.

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Michael Ashby / October 21, 2011

Hi Dean,

At the moment you are eligible in 3 years. If the new bill passes you will be eligible in 5. We are doing everything we can to stop it but so far thigns aren’t looking good. At least you will not be excluded from the program completely like some of our clients. I suggest keeping in touch with the blog. If and when the bill passes I will have all the relevant information up.

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jay / October 21, 2011

Hello, I have a file with national pardon that is waiting to be ready in a year and a half, The record says it was indictable, but it was possession of m.Jane under 30 gr. which under the law(4(1) subsection 5) states is only a summary offense. It looks like a mistake was made somewhere. I am trying to find out where and how to correct this so I would be eligible now and have a chance before the new laws take effect. The case is ten years old and may be hard to get some kind of appeal. Have you ever come across this situation before, and do you know if it is possible to have a some kind of correction type of appeal were indictable could be proven wrong and changed to summary? Its very frustrating to think that a mistake may destroy my chances of a pardon. Sincerely, Jay.

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Michael Ashby / October 23, 2011

Hi Jay,

Possession under is actually a hybrid offence meaning that the prosecutor was able to decide which way to proceed at the time you were charged. But if you really think a mistake has been made I strongly suggest you call and speak with a counsellor. Ideally we want to get as many files submitted to the Parole Board as possible before the legsilation passes.
Kind regards,
Michael

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jay / October 23, 2011

Hello again Michael, after reading the controlled drugs and substances act over and over it clearly states that possession under 30 gr. is a summary offence.

Possession of substance

4. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.

Punishment

(4) Subject to subsection (5), every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and

(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Punishment

(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VIII is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

SCHEDULE VIII
(Sections 4 and 60)
Substance Amount
1. Cannabis resin 1 g
2. Cannabis (marihuana) 30 g

so subsection (5) states that if the amount is less than the number in schedule 8 , It is summary!

They do make it complicated jumping to the very end to find schedule 8, so I can see how someone could have made a mistake. the amount (13 gr. in my case) is VERY crucial in determining the classification of summary or indictable.

sorry for all details, but it is important we know the law and our rights, and I hope this information may help someone else. If we have to abide by the law so should the court.
In my case I believe it to be some kind of mistake by not reading it properly, or being unaware of the amount when writing down the proper classification of offence.

I am trying to figure out what I can do to correct this situation, so any advice or help would be greatly appreciated . Sincerely Jay

Here is another chart showing classification of Summary, Indictable, and the maximum charges. http://www.defencelaw.com/printversion-chart-contents.html

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Birgit Davidson / October 24, 2011

Hi Jay,

Please email me your last name (this blog is public) and I will look into this for you.

bdavidson@nationalpardon.org

Birgit

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Susan / October 26, 2011

My husband spent his teen years and early 20s in and out of trouble – no personal injury offenses but a boat load of car thefts. He had many convictions and despite his living here since he was 4 years old, he was deported in 2005 (after 7 years of staying out of trouble, proving he turned his life around and fighting to stay). We are married – have a special needs son and were ‘guaranteed a pardon’ by a rep at Pardons Canada. We started the pardon process and sponsorship to bring my husband home April 2010 (he was told after 5 years he could apply to come home with a pardon). Hired an immigration lawyer, spent thousands of dollars on the lawyer, application fees, etc for the sponsorship only to find out we had been misled – Pardons Canada (despite writing a letter to Immigration on my husband’s behalf indicating he would be successful in obtaining the pardon) found a $210 unpaid fine for a failure to appear from 1996! This has now halted my husband’s pardon application until 2013! My husband has turned his life around in the last 13 years and yet if this new bill passes, he may never be able to come home! His son is unable to fly and therefore has not seen his dad in near 6 years! Is there no recourse if this bill is passed? Can we not start a petition for amendments to be made? Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

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Michael Ashby / October 26, 2011

Hi Susan,

I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I dont know if it will help but there is considerable affort being made to disrail this bill but the Tories do not seem interested in having an adult debate on this topic. Basically I can’t say for sure what will happen or when. I wish I had better information to provide.
You may want to consider having your husband come here on a Temporary Resident Permit until the immigration matter can be sorted out.
Best regards,
Michael

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Susan / October 26, 2011

Thanks so much Michael. We have applied for the TRP and the Application for Rehabilitation. my husband has definitely changed his ways, however we have been warned they are not easily obtained, especially with this bill looming. We are currently awaiting the decision. The Tories are definitely not interested in listening and yet it’s funny…..Vic Toews has indicated, in one of his many speeches on the matter, that 96% of those who receive a pardon, do not reoffend. If that’s the case, why the uproar? I understand the need for changes being made for sexual predators, but ultimately the Tories are destroying the chances of some people getting work if they are not granted a pardon. Unemployment will be affected if this bill is passed. And what about those who wish to come to Canada for a better life, however made a mistake early on? CIC will be inundated with TRPs and Applications for Rehabilitation for those wishing to come to Canada. Some immigrating will be granted and yet Canadian citizens and/or those with family ties (like us!) will be left high and dry! It’s a crying shame people voted this government back in, and provided them a majority! If my husband is unable to come home, I’m not sure what will happen – our son will definitely not receive the type of help there that he receives here. The government will be making me choose between my husband and my son….

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Michael Ashby / October 27, 2011

Very well said Susan. I couldn’t agree more.

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Andie / November 3, 2011

I have to disagree with this law. I have been convicted of an indictable offense (drug trafficking to support my addiction at the time) which was by far the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. I have cleaned up, I have paid for my mistake, I did my time and I still pay for it to this day: every time I am refused a job (I can’t even work at Walmart) and have been refused placement by my practicum supervisor in school. In the last 4 years I have pulled myself to my feet, I graduated from college and I am in my final year of university but can I graduate? NO! I can’t because I’ll have to wait another 5 years for my pardon so I can find a work placement practicum to fulfill my degree requirements. The ONLY thing holding me back. Not to mention the only thing holding me from getting a job that my degree has given me the education for. I have been told I am PERFECT for the position until I tell them of my record, then their eyes gloss over and they say immediately, we’ll be giving you a call and I never hear from them again… How does me waiting another 5 years make any difference?? If anything I am more frustrated now than I was while committing the crime!

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Birgit Davidson / November 3, 2011

Hi Andie,

We couldn’t agree with you more! I think that you (and any other readers who find themselves in this unfortunate situation) should write to your MP and tell them how this law is going to put your life on hold. They need to hear stories like this.

You can find out who your MP is through this website: http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/compilations/houseofcommons/memberbypostalcode.aspx?menu=hoc

Birgit

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Stigma4life / February 2, 2012

Hello Michael,

I think the three strike rule (indictables x 3) will prevent me from getting a pardon, the clock is ticking and time is running out for me under the 2010 rules.

I applied for Step 1 of my pardon (the criminal record part) 14 months ago, it arrived
last week. Is this a deliberate delay? Are other people hearing the same thing?

I have sent out Step 2 forms (Court documents requests) by express post. Step 3 is not applicable for me. Should I wait for the return of Step 2 forms before I proceed to Step 4 (Police checks) or just get Step 4 done now to get the ball rolling a bit quicker?

If the parole board know about the Step 1 delays (and they do), shouldn’t they show some mercy and count the day you officially started the process (Step 1) as the official date of application? I phoned the hotline they told me Step 9 will be the date they recognize…that seems pretty darn unfair given the delays of (in my case) in excess of a year for Step 1.

Isn’t there some legal rule regarding retroactive impositions, that people like me can cite so that are lives are not ruined forever?

Can I make the deadline before this thing is given Royal asent?

Sure hope you get back to me on this, as I say time is not on my side.

Thank you!

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Michael Ashby / February 3, 2012

Hi Stigma,

Well I think the good news is that it is unlikely the three strikes rule would affect you. As it turns out you would need to have been charged with MORE than three indictable offences (minimum of four oviously) and each time you would have to have received more than two years in jail. So in total unless you have been sentence to a minimum of eight years in prison you should be okay as far as the 3 strikes rule. Any chance this helps?

As for your other questions there is very little leeway given by the Parole Board and by very little I mean none at all. So unfortunately you either meet the criteria or you do not. I hope this helps.

Michael

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Anonymous / February 7, 2012

What if u have an automatic pardon. Will this affect it at all

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Birgit Davidson / February 14, 2012

Hi Anonymous,

There is not such thing as an automatic pardon….

Birgit

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Mark B / March 12, 2012

Hi,

After hearing about this new bill, I have become absolutely terrified that I may have to wait longer for a pardon. I’ve been turned down on many jobs since my criminal conviction, even finding a job through a temp service is very hard. I’m losing hope at a very fast rate.

After my father died I was prescribed xanax and clonazapam, but within a year I became even more depressed and even suicidal. After a heated argument with my girlfriend I threatened her and pushed her. Later that night the police came to my house and when they said I was under arrest and I pulled a kitchen knife to get the police to shoot me. From these actions I received a domestic violence, weapons dangerous, uttering threats, and resisting. I spent 2 weeks in jail and a 2 month mental health assessment. I have never been in trouble with the law before this nightmare of a night. My girlfriend is constantly saying how much she regrets calling 911 that night.

After completing my 18 month probationary period 6 months ago, I’m now finding out that I may have to wait up to 10 years for a pardon (not sure how to find out if my charges were tried as summary or indictable). Even waiting 5 years for a summary conviction under this new purposed bill is heart braking. I’ve made huge improvements in my life and even found out my passion for a career, but need a clean record for the schooling.

How long do you expect I can now wait before applying for pardon?

Thanks for your time.

Mark

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Dan M / March 12, 2012

Hello,

How will this effect my current application for a pardon? I was informed that the government has had my full package as of August 2010. Will it be delayed further? I was convicted in October 2006 so I am within my 5yrs for summary conviction under the new law. Will I have to reapply as they received my package in under the new 5yr time frame. I was told it takes up to 18 months and it is nearing that point.

Thank you

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Michael / March 13, 2012

Hi Dan,
If your application was done correctly then you are grandfathered under the old rules and the new legislation will not affect you. Best luck. I hope your pardon comes in soon.
Michael

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Mark B / March 13, 2012

Do you believe that this is finalized?
I heard that some minor changes still could be made to this bill.
And some aspects may be up to the judges decision.

Thanks again

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Michael Ashby / March 13, 2012

Hi Mark,

I think it is likely that the mandatory minimums will be challenged. I doubt, however, that any of the measures concerning pardons will be challenged unfortunately.

Michael

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Mark B / March 13, 2012

Wow, our country is going through a critical drug shortage right now and these PC’s are more worried about ruining lives with these new laws.
Once again yesterday I was declined for a job because of my past.
Do they account the costs for people like me that never have been on any kind of social assistance to now be forced to use it for at least 5 years, on top of the dramatic rise in prisoner housing… This will mean billions for Ontario alone.
With my post above about my tragic circumstances and charges, do you believe clemency can pursued?

I thank you very much for what you do on here.

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Michael / March 13, 2012

Hi Mark,

I think its safe to say that this bill was about scoring political points and nothing else. That’s why Stephen Harper stood up with Sheldon Kennedy in front of the camera every chance he got.

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Mark B / March 13, 2012

I agree on the harsher penalties on sex and violent offenses, but to punish people further by forcing them and their families to poverty, mental health issues, social assistance, and unfortunately in many cases back to criminal offenses to earn some kind of income is a definition of government entrapment for the less fortunate. I’m hoping there will be some change on the bill c-23b, so I encourage anyone else reading this to contact their local MP. This is a huge travesty and violation of many good peoples futures.

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Birgit Davidson / March 16, 2012

Hi Mark B,

I completely agree with you that everyone should be writing to their MP to voice their concerns.

In your case, there is certainly a good chance that your charges proceeded summarily so hopefully we won’t be looking at a full 10 year wait. We will have to confirm with the courts to know for sure but I think it is a very real possibility.

Birgit

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Mark B / March 16, 2012

Thanks Birgit,

Even 5 years is making my reality of becoming a father with a career very slim. I can’t even get a job at a recycling plant and at least 15 manufacturing plants I’ve been turned down the last few months alone.
To anyone reading this in the same situation, I suggest not wasting your time with larger corporations and concentrate on landing employment with smaller family owned establishment. I got turned down for 4 jobs yesterday alone.

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Joe / March 16, 2012

I know the feeling. I have had a record now for a while, I just had my ap submitted to the parole board in October, and had it been under the new rules, I would be ineligable. I did not ever do anything really serious, but I did get a couple of convictions in the past for minor things which have seriously affected my life. I have been denied countless jobs based soley on my record and still struggle to find work. I have a post secondary education and volunteer work under my belt, but none of it seems to help in the end. I am hoping I get my pardon soon, as it feels as if I have had to put my entire life on hold due to this.

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Denise / March 23, 2012

Hi Michael, I got my application in to the parole board before the new timeline passed, I did get a letter confirming receipt. Does this mean the new timeline does not effect me. Under the new timeline I would not be eligibleable until October of 2013…I am hoping this is not the case.

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Michael / March 23, 2012

Hi Denise,

I wish you were right but the rule is that your file must have been complete and submitted before the rules changed. Since the rules have changed everyone is now forced to proceed under the new criteria imposed by the Conservatives. It will not matter when you received the application forms, only when the completed application was received by the Parole Board.
Michael

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Birgit Davidson / March 23, 2012

Hi Denise,

To clarify: If your application has been submitted to the Parole Board with the appropriate fee and if you have received a confirmation of receipt letter from them then you should NOT be affected by the new law.

Cheers,

Birgit

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Michael / March 23, 2012

Having read Birgit’s response and now re-read Denise’s question it is clear to me that I jumped the gun . I think I’m becoming too accustomed to handing out bad information these days. Thanks for the clarification BD. I should have read that MUCH more closely. Hopefully Denise’s application sails through without any problems.
Michael

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Denise / March 23, 2012

I sent my application off to the parole board on February 17, 2012…they sent me a letter confirming receipt of my application on March 7 does this mean I’m okay….

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Denise / March 23, 2012

Thanks for the clarification that makes me feel so much better…Michael you’re doing a great job, its nice to have someone to ask questions considering this is such a complicating process…I feel that with all the changes to the pardon system I had to hurry up and wait…Although I did my application myself I had some help from the local police and the courts putting a rush on my info which doesn’t happen very often…

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Birgit Davidson / March 23, 2012

Forgive me for jumping in there, Mike. I know you have had an extremely stressful month dealing with first the fee increase and now with C10. To be honest, I’m amazed that you are still standing upright given the amount of time and energy you have put into fighting this legislation!! Anyone would understand if your attention to detail isn’t quite what it normally is. 🙂

Denise- from what you are saying here, you will not be affected by C10.

Take Care,

BD

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Jamie / March 25, 2012

Hi Michael,

When I was a youngster I was in and out of trouble. I have 4 convictions as an adult 2x assault and 2 x robbery. I was sentenced to provincial time from the assaults. One of the robbery charges i requested a federal sentence 2 years + 1 day so that I could take some programming to better myself. My last charge against the public occurred in 1999. Upon completing my 2 years as I spent 8 months on remand and another 16 months in a federal institution I then completed my 8 months parole. After completing my parole I was subject to 1 years probation. I needed a change so i moved to another country and subsequently breached my probation. I came back to the country 3 years ago and plead guilty. The judge was happy about how i turned my life around and sentenced me to 1 day in jail. How do I find out if my breach of probation was summary or indictable? I contacted the court house and they informed me that my file was moved. Am I right in thinking that the 3 strike rule is only if you have more than 3 indictable offences where the sentence was 2 years + on each offences?

I really don’t understand why they couldn’t just change the law, but make it discretionary to the parole board. There are probably a lot of people in my shoes that have been tarred with the same brush. Again my last offence was committed when I was 19 years old and I started doing time when I was 13 years old. My informative years were spent doing time and I am just happy that I managed to break the cycle.

Thanks for replying to all these posts. You seem like a pretty decent bloke…..

Kind regards,

Jamie

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Michael / March 26, 2012

Hi Jamie,

Please see answers below.

–Am I right in thinking that the 3 strike rule is only if you have more than 3 indictable offences where the sentence was 2 years + on each offences?

Yes, you are correct.

–I really don’t understand why they couldn’t just change the law, but make it discretionary to the parole board.

They could have done that and I argued exactly that point at the Standing Committee. The PBC has the right to refuse anyone a pardon for any reason whatsoever. But just like the minimum sentencing provisioins this legislation shows that the Tories trust no one’s judgement on criminal justice except Stephen, Vic and Rob. It is shameful in my opinion and more than likely to backfire.

–How do I find out if my breach of probation was summary or indictable?

You need court records for the that. Unfortunatley if you are unable to find them the Parole Board will assume indictable for all hybrid offences.

Thanks very much for the compliment. We are all doing our best to keep up with things in this business but it’s been a tough couple of years. Let me know if you hae other questions or would like us to handle your pardon. Hopefully the breach was a summary offence.

Michael

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Denise / March 26, 2012

Hi Michael,

Is it true that an unpaid parking ticket will affect your pardon application? I just check with the DMV in NS and I have a parking ticket from November 2011, but my application has already been sent can i pay this now or is it too late. I was unaware that parking tickets would come into play as they are not criminal.

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Michael Ashby / March 26, 2012

Hi Denis,

An unpaid parking ticket is a civil matter so it should not affect your pardon application. Of course I would not be surprised if the Conservative’s changed that as well at some point. But it has never happened so far.

Michael

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Denise / March 26, 2012

I was reading about that on another site where some pardon service providers said that applications were being returned or rejected for this reason, so I called the parole board this morning and they said that an unpaid parking ticket would be considered not of good conduct and an application could be denied for this reason

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Denise / March 26, 2012

I tried to find something about parking tickets in the eligibility criteria and I found nothing, so how can they now say that a parking ticket will prevent you from getting a pardon. This is just crazy. If it is not in the criteria then people will overlook it when applying for a pardon. It took me over a year to put my package together only to find out that it will be denied because I have one parking ticket. I just don’t understand? If my application is denied because of this is there anything I can do? Or do I just have to suck it up and pay $631 to reapply in a year?

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Birgit Davidson / March 26, 2012

Hi Denise,

There is no need to panic just yet. Just pay the ticket as soon as you can and the Board may not even find out about it. The Board can use an outstanding ticket against a person in evaluating whether or not to grant a pardon but I have never seen a case where a pardon has been denied because of one! They normally just make the person pay it and they still grant the pardon.

Birgit

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Denise / March 26, 2012

I sit here in tears as this might be my last chance to get a pardon. I can afford to pay the new fee being that I am unemployed and with my record it doesn’t look like I will be anytime soon. I missed the opportunity to go back to school last year and from the looks of this my career in Social Work may be out of reach for good. I am aware that what I did was wrong but it was over 15 years ago, I paid my debt, changed my life and now I feel that I have been given a life sentence. I don’t think the Conservative Government understand just how much this new law affects a persons life, its like you are down and the Government is kicking you.

Thanks you for the advice Michael.

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Joe / March 27, 2012

Could anyone tell me what is a realistic time frame for the parole. Board to grant a pardon? I submitted my ap and it was received before the laws changed. I have one indictable and one summary offense. Just curious how long it might take

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Birgit Davidson / March 28, 2012

Hi Joe,

The Parole Board has been extremely backlogged lately. Realistically, with an indictable offence on your record, you could be lookng at over a year before you hear anything.

Some pardons do come through more quickly (particularly if the record contains only summary offences) but they are really treating every applicaiton on an individual basis these days so it is very hard to predict timeframes.

Birgit

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Joe / March 28, 2012

Thanks for your reply. The indictable offense was driving while impaired. I am happy I have it in process, but another years wait is a long time. I don’t understand why so long. I understand its backed up, but what is their process, and why such long wait times? So much for a pardon in 8 – 12 months I guess.

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Birgit Davidson / March 28, 2012

Hi Joe,

Are you certain that your charge was indictable? DWI is normally a summary conviction (though it is technically a hybrid offence so can go either way).

In any case, Bill C23A, which passed in July 2010, mandated that pardon applications be scrutinized more carefully than in the past. I believe that this is the main source of the delays at the Parole Board but that is merely an educated guess. Hopefully the fee increase that was implemented in Feb. allows them to sort out their backlog!

Birgit

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Joe / March 29, 2012

Thanks Brigit. To be honest I may be mistaken. The went to court in 2003 and I was only 19 years old when it happened. I remember it was in the Ontario Court of Justice, so it was not a higher court. I did not hurt anyone in the process thankfully, and I received the mandatory fine, the one year driving prohibition, plus the one year of driving with an interlock device. I did not do any jail time. So perhaps it was a summary conviction. Is there any way for me to find out for certain. I have one of those police background checks and it does not say, plus all I have left in paper from the event was the papers acknowledging payment of fine and the one year driving prohibition.

I appreciate your advise.

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Birgit Davidson / March 29, 2012

Hi Joe,

Only the courts can confirm the method of trial (but I suspect that this was a summary offence). If you had the courts fill in the “Court Information Form” that came with the pardon application package, they would have confirmed the method of trial there. If not, you could try ordering that info from the courts and then forwarding it to the Parole Board to add to your file but at this point doing so may just result in further delays.

Birgit

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Dan M / May 28, 2012

Hey,

I know this is not part of this thread, but I had a question I hope you can answer. My friend is applying for the OPP and I looked over their application to help them out. It had the usual, ‘have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence that a pardon has not been granted.’

Then below it, ‘Have you ever had a pardon.’ I know this is a police application,but I thought companies could not ask if you have had a pardon.

Thanks,

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Michael / May 29, 2012

Hi Dan,

I am not a lawyer so I may not be the right person to answer this but to be honest I’ve yet to meet a lawyer that can answer this question any better. I believe it is because provinces are given discretion in dealing with matters related to criminal records and pardons. Provincial and local police for example are not required to destroy records when a pardon is issued, although almost all of them do.

Since the OPP is a provincial body I suppose it is allowed to ask whatever it wants. By contrast the RCMP being federal is, to the best of my knowledge, not premitted to ask that question.

I hope that helps.

Michael

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sherrod / February 17, 2013

Possession of marijuana and dui misdemeanors….both happened in 2007….can I do anything

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Michael Ashby / February 18, 2013

Hi Sherrod,

Both those charges are normally summary offences so if you paid the fines and completed whatever else the court asked of you then chances are you are eligible for a pardon now or in the near future. In other words it sounds like the perfect time toget a pardon going. If you like you can either apply online for you can give me a call and I would be happy to discuss your case on the phone.

Kind regards

Michael,

514.842.2411 x 227

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