Helping People Has Its Rewards
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is visiting community centres, detention facilities, and other institutions to give seminars on Canadian pardons. Often, the people I meet have heard about the pardon process but they hesitate for any number of reasons. Some people are worried a pardon application will just cause them more problems, some think that their pardon will never be accepted, some don’t think the pardon will do them any good. Many people simply don’t want to deal with all the paperwork.
My answer is that the pardon does not create a new record, it removes your old records. I reassure them that if they are eligible, they will receive their pardon. I remind them of all the problems their record has caused them, and the peace of mind they’ll have when those records are finally erased. I show them that if they don’t want to deal with the paperwork, they can have it done by professionals, the same way people deal with their taxes.
In short, I have never heard a good reason (or excuse) for not applying for a pardon.
Of course there are always those people who have a record, and who have never been inconvenienced by it at all. I understand when they tell me they don’t need a pardon, because often people don’t realize the danger until it’s too late.
Sometimes people assume their criminal convictions are erased automatically, others think their record is too minor to cause them any harm. But this is not the case. Too many of my clients have come to see me in a panic because somebody (often a police officer during a routine road check, an insurance inspector, a potential employer, a border guard, etc) has accessed their criminal record, and now they want to get their pardon as soon as possible.
In dealing with all these people in difficult situations I have come to believe that everybody should know their rights. If you have a Canadian criminal record,Â then you shouldÂ be awareÂ that it is your right to apply for your pardon.
All you need to do is start the process, and you too can be among the millions of Canadians who have overcome the problems caused by a criminal record, simply by applying for their pardon. You may not want to revisit old mistakes but I assure that putting the past behind you is a relief. It is a relief I see on the faces of my clients everyday and it is a relief that you have the right to attain.