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Video Pardons for minor pot convictions to be expedited, fees waived
03:23   |   today at 12:34


  • okay so first of all let's talk about
  • why the government says it wants to
  • pardon not expunged because it has
  • expunged other offenses in the past and
  • including this year we saw them expunged
  • three historic offenses that were used
  • against Canada's gay community for you
  • know that during the post-war years
  • essentially we saw a lot of people
  • convicted for gross indecency the
  • government in that case recognized that
  • it was a historical injustice it was
  • part of a kind of a purge of the civil
  • service at the time in many cases and in
  • other instances people were swept up in
  • bathhouse raids which the government now
  • acknowledges should not have happened
  • and so there's an asset and an element
  • there of the government saying we're
  • sorry that this happened it shouldn't
  • have happened which is not the case with
  • a pardon in a pardon this is the
  • government saying we forgive you and
  • that's I suppose a distinction that
  • might not matter that much if it had no
  • legal consequences but it does because
  • while within Canada a pardon and an
  • expungement are more or less the same
  • really the offense does essentially go
  • away the conviction goes away it isn't
  • the same when you leave the country when
  • you leave the country a pardon no longer
  • has any validity the original conviction
  • still stands and so that would affect
  • the hundreds of thousands of Canadians
  • who have simple possession convictions
  • on their record and who may have
  • difficulty for example crossing the
  • border into the u.s. for them an
  • expungement might but I emphasize might
  • eliminate that record but even there
  • there are still some doubts we got to
  • remember that there's a common database
  • of US and Canadian law enforcement
  • called cific I believe it's stored down
  • in Texas and it may very well be that
  • even if the Canadian government expunged
  • convictions which would mean the RCMP
  • contacting provincial municipal
  • authorities and so on and telling them
  • delete this from your computers it might
  • still remain on that SEPA computer down
  • in El Paso and therefore there's no
  • guarantee but cost is another factor
  • here the cost involved in notifying all
  • those authorities and making sure those
  • records get deleted is greater than the
  • cost of simply issuing a pardon and that
  • is probably one of the other factors
  • it's online I thought it was interesting
  • I haven't
  • the NDP leaders seem to suggest that you
  • could actually have housing or
  • employment issues here in Canada with a
  • pardon rather than an expungement
  • well actually it's illegal to
  • discriminate against the person who's
  • been pardoned in Canada if if a landlord
  • says you've got a conviction and that
  • conviction that's been pardoned by the
  • federal government and the Landlord uses
  • that to deny you an apartment the
  • landlord is committing an offense of
  • despond a discrimination law so I don't
  • believe that that that's an accurate
  • statement that we heard there from
  • saying that the real differences were
  • like more the people who are seeking to
  • travel than anything else but there
  • might also be within Canada certain very
  • high security clearance jobs and so on
  • where a pardon might not be enough it
  • might not be as much as an expungement I
  • mean after all I guess we have to
  • acknowledge and perhaps this is what
  • Jugni Singh was referring to a landlord
  • can deny you an apartment without
  • actually telling you why they're doing
  • it and if the landlord is denying you an
  • apartment for it in the illegal reasons
  • such as discrimination they're actually
  • pretty unlikely to come clean about the
  • real reasons for denying you the
  • apartment so in that sense there's a
  • difference I suppose domestically -
  • because the expungement literally makes
  • the charge go away people cannot find
  • out about it and that is a difference
  • it's very hard to discriminate against
  • the person if you literally can't find
  • out what they did all right Evan thank
  • you CBC seven Dyer in Ottawa

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People convicted of pot possession could soon be asked to fill out a simple form to speed up the process of obtaining a criminal pardon as part of the government's plan to address past cannabis crimes, federal officials say.

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