Blog Testimonial #3

Stephen Harper

Since the Liberal Victory I have been receiving emails from people willing to tell their story about how the Conservative government’s changes to the pardon program unfairly held them back. The story always seems to be the same. These people made mistakes but they changed and wanted to turn their lives around. But instead of a government supporting those changes, we had a government that routinely wanted to hold people back.

Thank you Mathius, for sharing your story:

Mathius Johnson

Hi there,

My name is Mathius Johnson, and I have been convicted of possession of marijuana with intent in March 2014, which was rendered to be an indictable offence. I have made some serious changes in my life since then, been in sobriety for over a year now, found the love of my life to be married in January, and expecting a child in June.

My fiance is from California, and her grandmother who is 95 years old right now would be thrilled for us to come visit her with her great grandchild. Unfortunately with the new pardon law I would have to wait 10 years for this to happen, and chances of her grandmother being alive still at that time would be very slim.

I also aspired to become a swim instructor, it is one of my biggest passions and goals, but a lot of places that hire swim instructors are city jobs that require a police check with vulnerable sector search. By the time I would be able to pass this I would almost be in my 40s!

The crazy thing about all this is the fact that marijuana is on the brink of becoming legalized anyway, so my past actions are being penalized by something that is soon to be accepted legally. Although even if the pardon laws get changed I know her grandmother might not be around still, but I could at least become a swim instructor in my life and not have to suffer with my past mistakes for so long.

I have been working very hard to correct my actions. A 10 year sentence for possession of a substance that is soon to be legalized is unjust. I hope this message finds you well, and thank you for your time.



About Michael Ashby

Michael Ashby is Co-Founder and Communications Director for the National Pardon Centre. Get in touch with Michael by sending an email to or calling extension 227.

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