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Pardon - Under the Criminal Records Act

NCJ Number
Date Published
14 pages
This booklet provides information, in question-and-answer format, on obtaining a pardon under the Canadian Criminal Records Act.
The Criminal Records Act is a means of assisting people who have been found guilty of a criminal offense, and who, having satisfied the sentence imposed, have subsequently shown themselves to be responsible citizens. Under the Act, a pardon is a formal attempt to remove the stigma that so often restricts or adversely affects the individual's peace of mind, social endeavors, or career. It indicates that the applicant has successfully reintegrated into society. A person who wishes to obtain a pardon must make an application which will be granted only after the results of an inquiry (usually conducted by the Canadian Mounted Police) have been studied by the National Parole Board. Upon completion of this review, the board recommends to the Solicitor General whether or not a pardon should be granted. The final decision is made by the Governor in Council (the Federal Cabinet). This procedure ensures that persons still involved in criminal activity will not be granted a pardon. Depending on the offense, pardons can be applied for 2 or 5 years after the sentence has been satisfied. Processing time for applications is approximately 6 months following submission of all required documentation. A copy of the relevant sections of the Act, application instructions, and necessary application forms are appended.