Testimonials from the backlog #1
The following entry is from a victim of the Harper government’s omnibus crime bill. We will be publishing as many of these entries as we can find. If you would like to add your story please send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All entries will be posted anonymously unless a specific request is made to the contrary.
“Dear M. Ashby,
I read your post on the National Pardon Center’s blog entitled “Pardon applications and the Parole Board”. I would like to thank you for having taken a stand against this unjust amendment.
I was myself convicted, 9 years ago today, to a prison sentence for an offense that I have not stopped regretting. My sentence was completed in 2010, and theoretically, I would have been eligible to submit a pardon application as of July 2015. This bill’s retroactivity subverted my plans.
Ever since I was released from prison in 2008, I completed a baccalaureate with brio. In approximately 2 months, I will be completing a Master’s in architecture, again with brio. In the meantime, I worked for reputable companies: Costco Wholesale, Quebecor Media, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. I was able to fend for myself.
I would have liked to start my new life with a pardon, but I have to wait another 5 years at minimum to begin these steps. I have had to move to foreign countries to find a job. I have had several job offers in Quebec, but the most promising, the ones that do not look at my criminal record, are all abroad, and I unfortunately have found myself having to leave the country in order to work. I am young, and find that travel is a wonderful opportunity that allows me to see the world and gain international experience. On the whole, I don’t feel this is an appropriate excuse, and it is unfair that I have had to do this.
I would like to know if you are aware of any groups or individuals that would bring this Bill to trial, and if you were what the latest news is. I certainly do not have the means to fight this on my own, but I believe that my voice can be an addition to those fighting against this prejudice, whoever they may be.
Thank you for the attention brought to this email.