Government of Canada to help more individuals obtain record suspensions in New Brunswick
March 13, 2023
Saint John, New Brunswick
There are countless individuals who’ve served their sentences and are living law-abiding lives, yet continue to face stigma and barriers because they still have a criminal record. Furthermore, lingering criminal records have led to the overrepresentation of Indigenous, Black and other racialized individuals in our criminal justice system. That’s why the Government of Canada is taking action to help more people break free of this stigma by making record suspensions more fair, and more accessible to everyone.
To help more Canadians benefit from record suspensions and move on with their lives, MP Wayne Long, today announced new support for the John Howard Society of New Brunswick for their Record Suspension Program through the contributions stream of the Grants and Contributions Program to National Voluntary Organizations. The John Howard Society will receive over $1 million over four years.
This funding will help the John Howard Society of New Brunswick support those applying for record suspensions in navigating the process and ensure they have access to the right information and resources. It will also help reduce reliance on private, for-profit companies that can give misleading information and charge high fees.
“For too many law-abiding individuals who’ve served their sentences, a criminal record carries a stigma that can block them from housing, employment, education and more. This support will help more of them obtain a record suspension that will remove major barriers that stand in the way of fully reentering society. This is just one of the many ways that we’re making our communities safer through a justice system that’s more effective and fair for all.”
- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“This funding will assist people in our community who have served their sentences move forward with their lives by making it easier for them to get jobs, find housing, and remain productive members of society free of criminal records.”
- Wayne Long, Member of Parliament Saint John—Rothesay
“More than 45% of pardon applications attempted by individuals are returned due to errors, and often many individuals don't even try. This funding is key to not only support someone throughout the process but to ensure all know that the service exists for them.”
- Bill Bastarache, Executive Director of the John Howard Society New Brunswick
Record suspensions help remove the stigma of a criminal record so that people with criminal records who have completed their sentences and are living law-abiding lives can access meaningful employment, housing, education, and volunteer opportunities, which are key to safe and successful reintegration as productive members of society. This improves public safety through reduced re-offending and victimization.
The call for applications for the Contributions to National Voluntary Organizations, which ran from February 3 to March 18, 2022, will provide $18 million over four years to eligible recipient organizations to offer support services to help people complete record suspension applications and increase awareness of these support services.
The contributions stream of the Grants and Contributions Program to National Voluntary Organizations supports eligible recipients in offering legitimate, government-funded record suspension (pardon) application support services. It will help marginalized communities access record suspensions and ultimately facilitate their access to meaningful employment, housing, education and other necessities to support a sustained rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada
John Howard Society of New Brunswick
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