Pardon Now helps clear the air

Karen Rogers admits not everyone is happy with what she does. But for those she does help, it can mean the difference between getting a job, volunteering, upgrading your education or crossing the border.

Rogers is the Director of Pardon Now Enterprises Inc., a Vernon based company that's designed to help people through the process of receiving a Canadian pardon or a travel waiver to the United States.

"I'm there to help them through the red tape and the whole application process." says Rogers. "The government is not as lenient as people think. Each application is looked at individually and the government puts them through a strenuous investigation."

Which means lots of paperwork, something Pardon Now specializes in. "We complete all the documents that are needed for a pardon and any extra work the government wants will be taken care of as well. It can be a confusing process."

Anyone convicted of murder or designated a dangerous offender will never become eligible for a Federal pardon.

Similarly, anyone receiving a pardon for a sexual offence will have their name permanently flagged in a special database, which would prevent employment in any job considered to be a vulnerable sector.

Anyone convicted of the following summary offenses and have completed their sentence are eligible to apply for a pardon after 3 years:
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Simple Possession
  • Theft Under $5000
  • Fraud Under $5000
  • Mischief
  • Failure to Appear
  • Breach of Probation

    The following indictable offenses allow a person to apply for a pardon in 5 years after their sentence is complete:
  • Robbery
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Theft Over $5000
  • Fraud Over $5000
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Trafficking in Narcotic/Controlled Substance
  • Conspiracy
  • Assault Aggravated/Causing Bodily Harm
  • Summary Sexual Convictions

    After 10 years:
  • Indictable sexual convictions to a minor if served 2 or more years for a personal injury offence after sentence completed.

    With the increased sharing of information between the two countries in the name of border security, anyone who has been charged in Canada will find that information is in the hands of U.S. border guards and the American government doesn't recognize a Canadian pardon.

    In order to cross over, those people need a U.S. travel waiver.

    "Its an application that's sent in to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, they look over the application and then determine if they want to issue a waiver." says Rogers. "If they do, that allows a person to cross back and forth for as long as the waiver lasts, which can be one to five years."

    Its worth noting that Rogers has taken criticism from those who feel that a criminal record should never be taken away.

    But she counters by saying most of her clients are looking for a better life by taking away a mistake often made years before.

    "My average client is a male over 50 with one conviction that happened 15-30 years ago, and is still holding them back." says Rogers.

    "The pardon depends on what the person has done between the time of their conviction and present day. They do a history check on the person and see if they've been an upstanding citizen for the required amount of time."

    To find out more about Pardon Now Enterprises Inc. visit their website at www.pardonnow.com or phone 250-307-7104.

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