The limitations of a Record Suspension or pardon include the fact that your record will still exist, but it will be sealed. A Record Suspension will seal your federal criminal record, but it cannot completely erase the fact that you ever had a conviction. There is no process that is capable of destroying all record of your offence(s).
While a Record Suspension or pardon will seal your federal records for the purposes of a criminal record check, evidence of these convictions can still be found through several methods. Below is a non-exhaustive list of where your record can still exist following a Record Suspension or pardon being granted.
- A Record Suspension will not permanently erase your convictions, which can re-appear on your federal record if the Record Suspension is revoked. When can a pardon be revoked? This is unlikely to happen, but it is a possibility if you lied on your application or you had a new offence.
- Sexual offences can be accessed through a Vulnerable Sector Check. Vulnerable Sector Checks can only be conducted by the individual to whom it pertains, but they are often required for employees who will be working with vulnerable sectors of the population such as children or the elderly. The limitations of a Vulnerable Sector Check are that only certain types of employers can request them, and they must show that it is relevant to the position.
- Local police other than the RCMP, as well as the individual Courts, will generally keep their records separate and not accessible by the public. However, since they are directed by provincial and municipal legislation rather than federal legislation, they are not necessarily required to do so. Some courts such as in British Columbia require express authorization from the individual before the court records can be released to a third party.
- Prohibition orders mandated as part of a sentence, such as firearm or driving prohibitions, will not be cancelled upon obtaining a Record Suspension.
- A Record Suspension or pardon does not guarantee an individual access to another country.