What does it mean to get a national pardon?

In Canada, a national pardon is completely different from what a pardon would mean outside Canada. This can be quite confusing for people that are used to the broad meaning of pardon around the world, but as far as Canada is concerned a pardon has its specific meaning there. In Canada, a national pardon is the equivalent of a second chance for convicts and those convicted of crimes. It is in no way a rectification of the original conviction, but the representation of the state’s willingness to allow the one applying for a pardon to have another shot at being a regular civilian.

After being convicted, life can be really tough because people will be very reluctant to hire a convict. Additionally, those with a criminal record cannot pass the border into the US either, meaning that they’re pretty much stuck in a place where they can’t find work. The state acknowledges this and allows convicts to apply for a national pardon.

In Canada, a national pardon represents the erasing of the criminal record. Jut to be clear, the crime and the punishment still exist and the sentence needs to be carried out. However, upon finishing the sentence, one can apply for a pardon so that their criminal record is erased. Pardons are only accessible for those who have completed their sentence.

The state won’t just formally pardon everyone that asks for it. It has to be convinced that the person applying for the pardon is truly reformed and can be trusted in society. This means finding a job that will show one’s ambition towards being part of a community. Also, it is crucial to stay away from any kind of illegal or aggressive activities after you are released from prison. If your pardon application is to go through, you need to prove that those things are no longer part of your life. So if you were part of a gang for instance before getting arrested, you can no longer be part of that environment if you wish to get a pardon.

It can take even close to half a year to get an answer from the national committee regarding a pardon so it’s important to constantly try and find work or to maintain a job if you already have found one. As for the process itself, usually people hire a pardon agency or a law firm to handle their case and to do all the tiring and complicated file submissions in their stead. If you wish however, you can do everything by yourself, so it’s optional to involve other people.

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