For a very long time, the process to remove a criminal record Canada has been called as getting a pardon. The official definition of pardon can be explained as this. The act by the government in which a criminal record has been sealed if the person carrying the record is found to have served a sentence without any incident and has been proving oneself as a law abiding citizen without any further convictions. The system of granting a pardon came into vogue long back in order to give the convicted individuals a decent chance to escape the stigma they carry on them provided they are willing to demonstrate a reformed life. Way back in March 2012, the Government of Canada acting through the Parole Board of Canada decided to rename the process as record suspension instead of pardon. Here are the reasons why this rename was effected.



There is no official reason
When the Parole Board of Canada gave the explanation as to why the changes in the terminology were effected, some conclusions came to the surface that explained the rationale behind this decision. The term ‘Pardon’ can mean an act in which a person or an agency extends the forgiveness to some person who has done something wrong. Actually speaking, this is not the way in which the actual act of pardon works in Canada. Pardon is not an irreversible process.


The Minister of Public Safety can have access to the sealed records if there is a dire need to do so. This is especially the case with regard to sexual offenses. Crimes of grave nature can still be reported in public scrutiny. A notification might be sent to the employers performing background check. For example, persons with child molestation charges can never apply for a position in a daycare center. Those individuals who have committed sexual offenses against a minor can never get a pardon or record suspension.


Not forgotten, but only withheld
During an act of pardon the records are only withheld, but not forgotten completely. The Parole Board of Canada felt the term ‘Record Suspension’ will describe the process more accurately than the word ‘pardon’. Though pardon makes a record suspended from the public view, the government is not going to forget what transpired and the information will still be available to be recalled when it is absolutely necessary. Hence the name change was effected.