January 1, 2019 5:47 pm

Feds should consider making some criminal pardons automatic: public safety panel

The Alouette Correctional Centre for Women is seen in Maple Ridge, B.C., Dec. 10, 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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OTTAWA – A panel of MPs wants the federal government to look at making criminal pardons automatic for some offenders who have served their sentences.

The House of Commons public safety committee also suggests lowering the $631 fee for a pardon and simplifying the often complex process for applicants.

Committee members say in a recent report that a criminal record can hinder a person’s ability to get a job, find housing, go to school or travel.

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Under changes brought in by the former Conservative government, lesser offenders – those with a summary conviction – must wait five years instead of three before they can apply for a suspension.

Offenders who have served a sentence for a more serious crime – an indictable offence – must wait 10 years instead of five.

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In addition, the application fee quadrupled to $631 from $150 to ensure full cost recovery.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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