A Pardon or Record Suspension simply means that your criminal record is sealed in accordance with the Criminal Records Act (CRA) guidelines when pertaining to criminal record checks.
It is very important to understand that your criminal record is never erased and there are limitations to a Pardon.
*The Parole Board of Canada advises the following when they issue a Pardon "The resulting Board decision means that the criminal record held by federal departments and agencies will be sequestered from other criminal records.
**" Please note that while many provincial and municipal agencies, when notified, choose to comply with the CRA by restricting the disclosure of the criminal record, it is possible that they do not. " The Parole Board of Canada further advises "A record suspension ordered under the CRA may not be recognized by a foreign government, nor will it necessarily ensure entry or visa privileges."
However, a Pardon does have value in many ways, and can be very beneficial in some cases such as employment opportunities, volunteering positions, Immigration status, Sponsorship of a family member and General Peace of Mind.
If you decide to apply for a Pardon, it is very important to hire a company that is knowledgeable and understands the benefits and limitations of a Pardon.
The company should ask you questions regarding why you want a Pardon and is it right for you. If they are just asking for money and advising you to apply right away, then you may want to get a second opinion.
Written by Michelle Chastkiewicz.
* and **reference Material: Parole Board of Canada