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Blog Testimonials – Pardon Legislation – AS

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 AS for sharing your story:

 

Hi Michael,

My name is AS and I was charged with an indictable offence in 2011.

I suffered from a devastating drug addiction in which I became homeless, visited mental hospitals frequently and in my darkest despair, I committed a robbery offence pretending to have a fake weapon. I could never actually hurt someone and the only motivation behind my offence was an insatiable need for drugs. Of course I hadn’t stopped using drugs for a number of months prior to my offence so when I was taken into custody, it was a long detox while I went through the court systems. I don’t remember much other than agreeing to whatever the lawyers and prosecution suggested. Of course I had guilt because I HAD committed the offence and I wanted to just take my “lumps and be done with it”.

It was an unforgettable learning experience and I must say I never wish to ever return to the system, a year or so after the whole experience, I was finally able to get the help I needed to overcome my addiction and have since become what I would consider an outstanding citizen. I would prefer my actions to speak louder than my words ever could so I won’t get into details upon what an outstanding citizen looks like, however my issue now revolves around getting a pardon for this darker moment of my past.

As I understand it is an indictable offence which means I must wait 10 year AFTER my 2 year probation order was finished. This means that upon waiting 12 year I am finally eligible for a pardon. Now, I have met some very understanding employers and such, but that means for my 20’s and the first part of my 30’s I am now marked as a deviant to society who should be avoided or branded because of an offence I committed out of a drug addiction when I was 19. Such issues of course include; limited job opportunities, limited travelling opportunities, and the two that  most pertain to my life today, limited entry to schooling institutions and limited options for volunteering.

I have learned to take accountability for my actions and so yes I committed the crime and of course I will deal with the punishments, however in relation to your request for emails, I do believe there should be some sort of evaluation following offences, that could fast track people into having their “life” back. I wish I could speak to Mr. Trudeau personally and ask, however I doubt that would be possible. Sadly, my story is just one of many as well.

I hope that this letter wasn’t too long! I am sure you are busy day to day; though I do have one last question for you if you would happen to have knowledge on the subject. My question is are there any ways to overcome the 10 year waiting period? I have researched long and hard and haven’t been able find any. Alternatively, I have been informed that because I haven’t tried to cross the border to the United States, they wouldn’t have a record in their database that suggests I would have had a record. So if, when I finally get my pardon, I was to cross the border, they wouldn’t have any information that says i HAD a record and have now received a pardon. Their data base would simply recognize that I have no criminal record. Thus this would save myself lots of money in the future for applying for passes and would also exempt me from possibly being denied due to my record. I am not sure if this is true regarding the United States (pretty much the one country I would have difficulty entering with a record) and if you had any clarification on this subject I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks for you time

AS

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