Get Your Pardon Started Early

The pardons Canada program is unique. It allows people who have been convicted – and therefore have a criminal record – to be able to seal their criminal record provided they have been of good conduct and meet the eligibility criteria. It means that people who have made mistakes in the past can move forward in life without being held back by the weight of a criminal record dragging them down. Considering how many jobs / careers require a criminal background check these days the ability to seal an old criminal record is essential for anyone who wishes to be gainfully employed.

And yet despite the important of having a clear record in today’s job market, many people I speak to don’t take the initiative to get a pardon; at least not before it’s too late.

Too often I speak to people on the phone who are in a panic because their criminal record is about to cost them something important. Most commonly it is a lost a job opportunity but it could also be the chance to travel somewhere or even just the freedom to volunteer with the kid’s soccer team.

Whatever the problem, the solution is always the same in these situations – get your pardon. Once a pardon is granted the record is sealed. Essentially it no longer exists for anyone conducting a criminal background check.

The problem is that a pardon application takes time to complete (up to two years in some cases). So if you wait until a job offer is taken away (or whatever it is you’re losing out on) to get the application going you are most likely not going to solve the problem you’re facing.

This is why it is so important to start the pardon as soon as possible. We always recommend a minimum of 1 year in advance of your eligibility date. Waiting any longer is placing unnecessary delays on your future. And those delays could easily cost you something important.


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