Canadians to help shape the Review of Record Suspensions

News Release

November, 7, 2016 
Ottawa, Ontario - Public Safety Canada

The Government of Canada has launched a public online consultation on record suspensions (formerly referred to as pardons) under the Criminal Records Act in support of its review of the changes made to the criminal justice system over the past decade.

The information provided through this consultation will help inform the development of options for the reform of the Criminal Records Act and support the successful reintegration of law-abiding Canadians into society.

From now until December 7, 2016, Canadians can make their voices heard by participating in the online consultation available on the Public Safety Canada website. This review is to ensure that record suspensions are:

  • consistent with the Government of Canada’s goals to increase public safety;
  • providing value for money;
  • evidence-based; and
  • aligned with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian values.

Going forward, the government will also undertake consultations and research to guide reforms in the areas of corrections and parole.

The feedback received through these consultations on record suspensions will be available in winter 2016-2017.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 1 in 10 Canadians has a criminal record.
  • The Criminal Records Act is a law that provides for the suspension of records for people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentences and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens.
  • Currently, an ex-offender must wait a period of 5 to 10 years after completing a sentence before being eligible to apply for a record suspension.


“The changes made over the past ten years, especially to the record suspensions application waiting times, have created barriers for those who are living crime-free to pursue employment and become fully contributing members of society. This online consultation will help shape the reform of the Criminal Records Act. This is part of our commitment to reviewing the criminal justice system as a whole, to make it more effective and efficient.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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