Has your criminal record stopped you from aiming high?

We have held interviews with GTA residents who have a criminal record, and in the course of our discussions we learned that having a record has severely curtailed the lifestyles of many of our clients. Whether it was getting into a certain school, obtaining a much-desired job or even seeking medical treatment, an old criminal record posed a barrier for everyone we spoke with. These are people who, upon re-entering society after having paid their debt, wanted to re-establish themselves and came up against the brick walls of indifference and prejudice.

At least they tried.

Could it be that, perhaps even on a sub-conscious level, your criminal record has been holding you back from even attempting to live your best life?

A criminal record makes many simply give up

Though Canada is not known for extraordinarily long and punitive sentences, which can lead to people becoming institutionalized and therefore unemployable anyway, the unfortunate fact is that even a short stint in the local jail carries the same impact as a lengthy visit to the penitentiary when it comes to leaving you with unwanted baggage. The social and economic impact of a criminal record can last far beyond the sentence itself. Here are the stories of two Toronto-area women with criminal records, and the challenges they faced attempting to move forward despite criminal charges dating back at least 10 years:

“Tried a bunch of different jobs at different banks and 5 interviews with 5 different branches with TD and no hire. I was straight up with them from the get go but thought I had a head up because I was with Homeward Bound (a program that provides housing, education and job placement with 10 major Toronto employers to single mothers recovering from addiction) and our largest supporter was TD Bank so thought it might slide, but I can see now it just wasn’t my time.” – Name Withheld

Another lady was less serene about her fate:

“I’ve done criminal record checks and what comes back to me is contact the R.C.M.P. right there I give up. I’ve done it and never received a response, I fear something bad over this record it stops me from wanting to apply for many things even jobs… no one wants to hire me if I have one and if I lie well I still get screwed! I cannot pursue the career I want or a few others I like, I am very limited to what I can do legally! My record is terrible and I still have to wait about 6 years before I can apply for a pardon. My 10 year wait started since I paid my fines (federal ones) as well. It really is bs we have to wait that long, some of us wanna move on and up in life, unfortunately I have fallen down myself I am just now trying to climb out of a hole of mental health issues. It is a tough road sometimes, but when I do get going, I hope to work on this issue first!” – Kyla H., Whitby

What more can be done?

Many more Canadians like Kyla are waiting to get a record suspension and have their criminal record sealed because it will bring them the confidence required to start applying for jobs again. Until then, they feel it’s no use putting in resumes and having interviews that are doomed to end only one way.

If you can identify with feeling like everything is on hold while you wait around for your life to begin, then call Dominion Pardons and Waivers. We can get the record suspension (Canadian pardon) application process started so that by the time you are eligible, all the legwork will already be done – and you can begin achieving in the community again.

Call TOLL FREE 1-888-890-1321

or fill out the online inquiry below and have a qualified agent help you see if you are eligible to clear your criminal record with a Pardon, or gain access to the United States with an Entry Waiver.

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