Text of the Bill to Eliminate Some Pardons

The text of the Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act, Bill C-23, introduced in the House yesterday, is available here. It amends the Criminal Records Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-47. The official summary of the Bill reads as follows:

This enactment amends the Criminal Records Act to substitute the term “record suspension” for the term “pardon”. It extends the ineligibility periods for applications for a record suspension. It also makes certain offences ineligible for a record suspension and enables the National Parole Board to consider additional factors when deciding whether to order a record suspension.

According to statistics on the National Parole Board website, in the last year for which records are public (2008-2009) 39,628 pardons were granted by the Board, 111,769 pardons in the last five years, and, as the Board says:

[s]ince 1970, more than 400,000 Canadians have received pardons. 96 percent of these are still in force, indicating that the vast majority of pardon recipients remain crime-free in the community.

Apparently, the Parole Board doesn’t release a breakdown of the offences of those granted pardons.


  1. To put things in perspective let’s examine an individual who will be affected by these bills:

    On June 10, 2010 a 17-year-old boy from western Manitoba was convicted of sexual assault for having consensual sex with a 13-year-old during a game of Truth or Dare (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/17-year-old-guilty-of-sex-with-girl-13-96034564.html). If Bill C-23B passes this boy will never be eligible for a pardon.

    Are we really to believe that, denying this boy a pardon for the rest of his life, making it near impossible to get a good job, to travel, will actually do anything to make society safer??