If you don’t pay your fine you will never be eligible for your Canadian pardon.
Before the Conservatives got involved in the business of pardons there was a stipulation that allowed a person to apply for a pardon despite an unpaid fine if more than fifteen years had elapsed. That is now gone so I have a few clients with charges going back forty years who are now ineligible for a pardon. They will have to pay the fine and then wait another ten or five years.
I think it is important to make people complete their sentences and I think fines should be paid. However it would seem more appropriate in cases where fines are older than the waiting period that the applicant could pay the fine and still be allowed to apply for a pardon. I don’t know many people who think it is fair for someone to wait 50 years before becoming eligible to have their criminal record removed from public file.
But that is where we are at with the new Conservative pardon program. So please remember if you are ever arrested and you receive a fine in court pay the fine right away. If not you are asking for trouble down the road.