A pardon doesn’t erase a criminal record, but it does seal it.  Technically, the criminal record can come back if the Record Suspension is revoked.

Once your Record Suspension is approved, your conviction no longer appears in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This does not erase it but simply keeps it apart from other criminal records. However, since it does not appear in the CPIC records, it will erase it from criminal record checks for employment.

There is an exception if you are applying to work for or volunteer with vulnerable people. If you have been convicted of a sexual offence, your record will show up. Even with a pardon in place, when you want to work with people considered at risk because of age, disability or some other vulnerability, your suspension is flagged by the CPIC.

Can a pardon be revoked?

After a Record Suspension has been granted, it may be later revoked if you are convicted of a new offence or new information convinces the Parole Board you were not entitled to your original pardon.

Although a criminal record will always remain “on the books” somewhere, the record suspension process is an invaluable tool for honest people who want to move on from past mistakes. It is also essential for anyone who wants to take full advantage of work and travel opportunities without undue worry.