National Pardon Centre Provides Expert Testimony on Bill C-23B

TORONTO, Nov. 26 /CNW Telbec/ – The National Pardon Centre (NPC) delivered expert  testimony concerning Bill C-23B to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in Ottawa on November 23rd.  NPC, a not for profit agency, provides professional expertise and assistance to Canadians who want to apply for a pardon that would eliminate their criminal record. A successful pardon removes barriers to many kinds of employment, travel, and other activities that most take for granted.

NPC presented evidence and recommendations supportive of reforms passed through Bill C-23A but opposed additional reforms proposed in Bill C-23B that would introduce unfair financial hurdles for less affluent applicants. They also criticized additional wait times that would delay applicants’ ability to resume fully productive lives and that would add to the burden on Canadian tax payers. NPC disagreed any name change, citing data that proved overwhelming support for the status quo.  Finally, they argued against a “3 strikes” rule, stating that every person and crime should be assessed on its own set of circumstances.

“10% of Canadians have a criminal record”, said Michael Ashby, co-Founder of the National Pardon Centre. “Typically, our clients are non-violent offenders. Most have been charged with DUI offenses. Before applying, applicants must complete all aspects of their sentence and wait the prescribed waiting time. If they accomplished this, and have not been charged with any other crimes, they are eligible to apply.”

The Government rolled out the first half of its pardon reforms in May 2010 with Bill C-23A. The Bill introduced longer wait times, a more effective classification system, and a more rigorous and comprehensive review system.

The National Pardon Centre (NPC) is Canada’s only national, fully-bilingual pardons agency and one of handful that is RCMP accredited to conduct fingerprinting and background checks. It has a 99% success rate. NPC offers walk in services at each of its offices in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The National Pardon Centre helps those who are eligible to apply for a pardon that will remove mention of their criminal offence from the public record.

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