Canadians with criminal records face many obstacles in travel, employment, and other areas of life. Some discrimination they experience owing to their criminal record may be unlawful as per Canadian federal and provincial law.
Canadian law defines discrimination as any action or decision that results in the negative treatment of an individual or group because of identifiers such as race, age, religion, sex, and so forth. Canadian law recognises discrimination based on one’s criminal record.
Canada’s Constitution divides legal jurisdiction between the federal and the provincial governments. This means that some employees and service providers are federally regulated while others are provincially regulated.
The Canadian Human Rights Act makes it illegal for federally regulated employers and service providers to discriminate against individuals with a Canada pardon or Record Suspension. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal deals with discrimination against federally regulated employees.
On the other hand, provincially regulated employees are subject to the specified laws of the provinces in which they operate. As such, discrimination against provincially regulated employees is covered by provincial human rights tribunals.
In the following provinces, discrimination may be contested when:
British Columbia – a person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or to the intended employment of that person.
Manitoba – a charge or conviction has no real relationship to the occupation or employment and although not sufficient on its own, a pardon has been issued.
Ontario – a person has been convicted and pardoned for an offence under a federal law or convicted under a provincial law.
Prince Edward Island – the individual has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or intended employment of the individual.
Quebec – a person convicted of a penal or criminal offence that is in no way connected with the intended employment or if the person has obtained a pardon for the offence.
What Can You Do ?
- File a Complaint
If you think have been discriminated against, you or your lawyer or representative could file a complaint. Review the process to ensure that your complaint is filed within the time limits, which may vary by province. You are required to describe the action or decision that you think is a discriminatory practice, the grounds of discrimination, and how the discriminatory practice affected you.
- Get Pardoned
Filing a complaint can be a lengthy and recurring process. Applying for a Record Suspension offers a more durable way of protecting yourself from any current and future discrimination you may face in your occupation. A Record Suspension (Canadian pardon) allows you to pursue employment and other occupations without concern of unfair or negative treatment.
If you are ready to move past your criminal record, contact us today for a free consultation on the Record Suspension process at 1-866-972-7366.