Everybody Makes Mistakes

Canadians Getting More Than They Bargained For Crossing U.S. Border

 With a rising Canadian Dollar and more Canadians flocking south for shopping bargains, the risk to Canadians with a criminal record increases. A quick trip for gas can turn into a lifetime of U.S. Entry Waivers.

Canadian spending in the U.S. was way up in 2010, according to a Visa report. Spending went up 18% from the previous year, capping at $9.2 Billion. Last year Canadians, among all other nationalities, were also the biggest spenders in the U.S. A strong Canadian Dollar backed by rebounding Canadian industry, weak investor confidence State side and high oil prices promises great deals for Canadians. The trend continued into 2011 as the dollar has been trading at 105 against its U.S. counterpart - up 5.4 points since January. This recent growth brings the dollar to a 3 ½ year high against its American counterpart.

As the shopping migration continues en masse, Canadians would do well to remember that if they have a criminal record it is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the traveler posses a U.S. Entry Waiver. U.S. Border Officials have been turning away more and more Canadians from the border as a quick check can uncover a past offence prompting a refusal of entry. 

On top of being denied entry at the border, any subsequent attempt to enter the U.S. from Canada is flagged and checked. The person caught trying to conceal their past or enter the U.S. without a waiver will be required to possess a U.S. Entry Waiver for the rest of their life.

More and more Canadians are getting caught in the tighter security blanket crossing the border to take advantage of great deals. Unfortunately, they are getting much more than they bargained for as a lifetime of U.S. Entry Waivers can result from one quick trip across for gas. The unfortunate thing is that for Canadians a criminal record check is quick and inexpensive. Canadians don’t need to be caught unsuspecting at the border.

*note: a Canadian Pardon will ensure that the U.S. government will not be able to see any previous criminal record 

Don’t Get Hit by the Omnibus: Pardon Regulation Set to Change

The brigade of campaign buses have been rolled out and the partisan trumpets are blasting party platform from coast to coast. Election time again in Canada. What does this mean for the Canadian Criminal Code and importantly, the issue of Pardons and the Pardoning Process?
The Conservative Party of Canada, under Stephen Harper, has announced that if elected with enough of the vote, they will pass an all-encompassing crime bill. These are generally known as omnibus bills – bills that contain multiple pieces of legislation that affect various segments of the legal code. This is not a footnote of Conservative Party platform. The Harper government wants to pass this bill within 100 days of the election on May 2nd.
Inside the bus is Bill-C23B. This bill has the purpose of giving the National Parole Board of Canada more discretion and power. The bill states “National Parole Board has…exclusive jurisdiction to grant or refuse to grant or to revoke a pardon”. Regardless of the merits of implementing this amendment and others to the Canadian Criminal Code the implication for Canadians remains clear. The process for applying for a pardon – soon to be known as “record suspension” – will become more difficult. Between 2009 and 2010, 7,000 applications to the NPB were rejected because they were incomplete or ineligible. With these amendments that number is bound to rise.
The large number of Canadians who are living with a criminal record, 13% and climbing, should be aware of the changes that will be coming down the legislative pipeline. There are options, Pardon Services exists to help Canadians successfully navigate the pardon process and arrive ultimately with a granted pardon. This enables Canadians to move forward, travel, receive due promotions and get employed. Pardon Services enables the growth of Canada and Canadians and will continue to do so as criminal legislation changes and moves forward.
If you are keen to get your pardon before the enactment of these legislations visit the most trusted pardon service provider to get the process started today.  

HIRING PRACTICES EXPOSED - Red Carded Before the Game

Increasingly, companies are using criminal record checks in their hiring process before even talking to the applicant. The criminal record check industry has provided a readily available, popular, and inexpensive tool for pre-screening hopeful applicants. This use, now widespread, eliminates all job candidates with criminal records. People with criminal records are routinely being denied any opportunity to establish their job qualifications. Such a “blanket” approach is clearly flawed if not plain wrong; it seems not only unreasonable but also potentially illegal under civil rights laws.

Criminal background checks serve to determine the safety and security risk of candidates for employment or promotion. However, to assume that the existence of a criminal record accurately predicts such risk is illogical. Employers are using these checks as a way of determining character rather than qualification. The best qualified or even well-qualified individuals are being swept aside irrationally. These blanket exclusions provide no opportunity for employers to consider critical information, such as the nature and age of an offence plus its relationship to the job.

Another emerging aspect is the potential for covert discrimination – using criminal records to screen applicants serves as a facially neutral selection process that invites consideration and review. As such, the National Employment Law Project’s March 2011 report urges employers to reconsider their current hiring policies. An individualized assessment should take into account the nature and gravity of the offense(s), the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job held or sought. This approach would ensure that people with criminal records are not eliminated for youthful indiscretions, minor run-ins with the law, or more serious offenses from long ago.

Supporting this approach is the fact that a criminal record is difficult to interpret, making it a misleading tool to determine risk on the job. The BC Civil Liberties Association has raised concerns about employers using the PRIME (Police Records Information Management Environment) database for pre-employment checks. In the past, this database was considered a highly confidential tool for law enforcement. One of the problems inherent in using this database now for employment screening is that some information is being recorded as “negative contact,” a concept far too broad in scope for employers to base life-defining decisions upon. If it is going to be used increasingly for background checks, people will be demanding greater access to ensure information provided is accurate. 

This is another example of what you don’t know can hurt you. How many people can tell you with 100% certainty what is in their file? How many of these hiring managers even know what their file says about them? If you are serious about your employment search or career advancement – do your best to have ALL the answers before you become excited about an application submission. Your past experiences, hard work, education and qualifications may be worth absolutely nothing to a potential employer if you set off a red flag. 

Weeding Out the Criminal Record with a Pardon

“Maturity,” “sophistication,” “wisdom”: The adage youth is wasted on the young comes to mind when one realizes that maturity makes a person less innocent, after sophistication results from education, when wisdom yields good judgment and insight.

Here is the story of one Canadian having realized more fully the effect of using marijuana and the benefits of discontinuing the habit.

He was charged with his offence when he was just 19 years of age, in his first year of university. He was apprehended coming off the train with an amount of marijuana and some cookies. At the time, he used marijuana as a stress reducer but has since stopped.

Since his conviction, he has gone on to get his degree in computer science. After graduation, he started working as a technical support representative for a consulting company and was promoted to a technical lead position after just one year. About two years later, he moved to the Maritimes where he currently works as a software support representative.

pardon has helped him to be able to apply to a broader scope of employment opportunities that previously were out of reach due to his criminal record. The background checks that potential employers might perform will now provide a clean slate with which he can move forward. His U.S. entry waiver will also allow him to travel freely to the U.S., which is required on occasion at his current job.

If you are in similar circumstances yourself, Contact Pardon Services Canada for help. You too can gain the wisdom that he most certainly has.

Sun of a Beach...Criminal Record Limits Travel

Canadians love to travel. This fact is reflected in the number of Canadians currently holding valid Canadian passports increasing to 60 percent from only 36 percent in 2005. Although the recession in 2008 kept many from travelling the way they would have liked, some choosing to pursue the “staycation” while the economy was sluggish, the number of people traveling has since rebounded.

During the 2010/2011 winter travel season, 10 percent more Canadians travelled to the US than the previous year, with Hawaii proving to be the one of the most attractive places. The US is a top destination for Canadians. In fact, several US locations are currently on the list of the top 25 beaches in the world for 2011. Unfortunately for some would be travelers, a Canadian criminal record limits your ability to travel to the US.

Travelling abroad has also seen a resurgence. In the winter, Canadians love the sun, choosing R & R on beaches and cruises. And during the other seasons, destinations like Mexico, Cuba, Britain, and China are increasingly popular. To take advantage of lower flight costs, a significant number of Canadian travelers are now going to the US for flights to US destinations and around the world.

Quite apparent is the position that the US holds in all these ventures. A predominance of travel is either to or through the US. What a shame it is that so many Canadians cannot even consider pursuing their dream vacations because they have a criminal record. Only through getting a pardon to remove that criminal record and receiving a waiver to gain entry into the US will that dream become a reality.

Spun Out of Control. . . Man Regains Life After Record Suspension.

“Regret,” “remorse,” “anguish,” “self-reproach” – all these feelings hang heavy when one truly realizes the consequences of wrong doing.

No matter how minor or serious the circumstance may be that a troubled person is contending with, to feel a measure of relief when having overcome the consequences is uplifting.
Here is the story of one person having become successful in his personal life putting his past behind him.
In 1987, he was found guilty of having a blood alcohol level exceeding .08 while driving. His vehicle hit some gravel, spun out of control, and rolled over. He is so very thankful that there were no other vehicles or individuals involved. He deeply regrets this incident and has made many positive changes in his life as a result. He has not, since the date of his conviction, driven under the influence of alcohol. This event has been something he has had to live with for over twenty years.
He has two teenage children currently learning to drive and looking forward to attending university. He often reminds them of his circumstances and strongly encourages them to learn from his mistakes.
He currently teaches in workshops for corporate clients. He greatly enjoys educating adults and seeing how their careers benefit. Increasingly, organizations are asking for criminal background checks in order to do work through a vendor. This record suspension has allowed him to continue to educate and not limit his ability to earn a living.
If you are in similar circumstances yourself, Contact Pardon Services Canada for help. You too can gain the peace of mind that he most certainly has.

Seeking A Pardon Is The Only Recourse To Removing A Criminal Record.

Since 1970, over 400,000 Canadians have been issued pardons. 96% of those recipients have remained crime free in our communities. Why have so many Canadians endeavored to obtain their pardons, ridding themselves of their criminal records? Once people convicted of a crime have completed their sentence, paid their fine, or complied in any other way that the courts have ordered, shouldn’t they feel relieved? Shouldn’t they be able to put their mind at rest knowing that they have “paid their dues” and can now move forward and re-establish?

The fact is that everyone wants to undo errors in judgment that led them to having a criminal record. Get a new job, volunteer at their children’s school, coach a sports team, adopt a child, change one’s name, maintain custody of children during separation or divorce, these opportunities and others are not possible unless their criminal records are sealed through obtaining a pardon.

In addition, they most likely seek respite from the physiological and psychological impact of the burden that a criminal record causes. Not only do they want to move forward, they also want to gain peace of mind. When confronted with the procedure of undergoing a criminal record check while being considered for a promotion or a new job, while wishing to be able to volunteer for community endeavors, while worrying about friends or neighbours discovering the past: The stress can and does cause physical and psychological trauma. Anyone has the opportunity to have their record checked and should do so for peace of mind.

The RCMP is the only body in Canada with the authority to perform criminal record background checks. Employers are increasingly using criminal record checks, through the RCMP, when qualifying prospective and current employees for new hires and promotions. An otherwise qualified person can expect to be turned down, even if the conviction was for a seemingly insignificant offence that happened long ago. That record exists and can be seen by employers. Even more unsettling is the fact that some companies have started applying their new criminal record policies retroactively. Long-term employees have been dismissed because of a minor, old offence.

Receiving a pardon enables a person to live just as if he had never committed a crime – a pardoned crime will not be disclosed on a criminal record check provided by the RCMP. A clean criminal record is a requirement for moving forward, and applying for a pardon is the route to follow. Obtaining a pardon is a long process, so it’s best to start well in advance. Seeking the assistance of a pardon services specialist will make that process easier and provide the assurance needed.
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‘The New Canadian Pardon: More Expensive & Harder To Get. Really?

The Canadian Government has proposed that the cost of applying for a pardon be raised to $631, after only recently raising it from $50 to $150. Some people feel that those who commit crimes should have to pay for their own rehabilitation, whereas others feel that if getting a Canadian pardon proves too difficult or expensive, many will never be rehabilitated.

Quite interesting is the fact that, for pardoning criminal records, the price is under debate at the same time as the general requirements: Is the pardons process strict enough, or should it be made more difficult?

This raises two important questions for discussion:

Raise the price? The Government claims it would offset the cost to the taxpayer – a claim that defies logic to some degree. Consider that taxpayers’ money is used to administer the justice system. Raising the cost of a pardon – and quite significantly - would prove obtaining a pardon prohibitive for many, most likely because their criminal records are currently preventing them from  becoming gainfully employed. Not being gainfully employed results in the individual NOT being able to contribute to the public purse, and in some cases actually taking more away from it by relying on some form of public assistance. These people want to work. They are willing to pay taxes. Why stop them?

Make the process more difficult? One might well wonder what end this would serve. Take economics out of the equation. People who are legally entitled to receive a criminal pardon and are well rehabilitated or certainly have learned their lesson should not be further tripped up with another stumbling block. These are people who are working hard and are contributing members of society. The Canadian pardon process is already fair and effective, although it requires accuracy and thoroughness both on the part of the Parole Board of Canada and the applicant. Many people seek the assistance of Client Specialists to assure accuracy & thoroughness to better guarantee success with their application. But why make the process more complicated? A person who is working hard at life and contributing to society is not planning crimes. Do they really need more paperwork in Ottawa?

Because the spectrum of crime in Canada is so great, the likelihood of the average person knowing and/or associating with someone who has a criminal record is actually very high. Many everyday people have a minor conviction along with a criminal record. Most of these convictions are usually the result of a lapse of better judgment rather than an outright strategic criminal endeavor.
To make pardons more expensive or more difficult to obtain would be harsh and counterproductive to the average person.
Ultimately it will take more money away from the Government through lost future employment taxes than is collected from a one-time increased application fee. Rather than serving as a significant deterrent to the intended criminal, it hinders the productive rehabilitated individuals and looks more like an immediate, non-logical cash grab by the Government.
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The Pardon Services Canada Guide To Choosing Your Pardon Specialist.

If you have a criminal record, you already know that it can prohibit you from doing certain things. Areas that are typically affected include work, travel, volunteering, education and even adoption! That is, until enough time passes so that you qualify to apply for a pardon.
The Canadian pardon process also known as a record suspension in Canada can be a very intimidating and a confusing experience for the average person. Questions like; ‘Where do I find information on the pardon process?’, ‘Do I qualify for a pardon?’, and ‘How does it take to get a pardon in Canada?’ all come to mind.
Unless you are a lawyer, most likely you will need some type of help preparing your application for the Parole Board of Canada in Ottawa. If you choose to take this on yourself – good luck! But please remember a few things.
• Different people require different pardon documents.
Fingerprints are basic a requirement for every application – but there are two kinds!
• You need to complete the right document package – different documents need to be provided in full, and can vary from person to person.
• Every application is different. What is good for one pardon application may not be enough for another.
• A pardon application needs to be properly prepared and fully completed.

You can try to do it all yourself, but why would you chance having your pardon application returned because you forgot complete one very small but critical detail? Success or failure depends solely on how well your pardon application is prepared. If your application is returned, you must wait one full year to apply again.

While the prospect of asking for help does not appeal to everyone, there comes a time when you need to stack the deck in your own favor. It’s better to team up with a pardon specialist and give yourself the inside advantage.

So if you agree that you may need the help of a specialist, make sure that you team up with someone who has a successful track record, someone who can really guarantee that they can help you.

Ask these questions:

•How many years have you been obtaining pardons for your clients?
•What is your success rate?
•Will I be able to track the progress of my pardon application? Where and how?
•Do you have customer service agents available to answer my criminal record and pardon questions over the phone?
•Where is your office located?
•Do you have client testimonials or references?
•Will you keep me up-to-date on my pardon application as it progresses?
•How is my personal and private information handled?
•How can you guarantee my privacy?
•Why should I go with your company?

When it comes to clearing criminal records, Pardon Services Canada has been helping Canadians with confidential, fast and affordable service for over 20 years.
You can find out more information regarding your rights, and learn about easy steps to total freedom by visiting http://www.pardonservicescanada.com/. Pardon Services Canada can help you clear your good name.
Applying for a job? Need a background check or fingerprints done? Call us to help you. 1-866-972-7366 - Confidential. Fast. Affordable.