How to Get a Record Suspension (Formerly Called a Pardon) in Alberta



The Parole Board of Canada is currently holding an online consultation regarding the fee structure of the Record Suspension Program. Please visit: 

to participate in the online consulation. 

***************************************************************TheThe The Parole Board of Canada is currently hosting an online consultation regarding its Record Suspension Program from May 9 - June 10  2016. The consultation allows members of the public an opportunity to provide their input and opinions on the current application fee and other related service fees.

Student Legal Services believes that the high cost of making an application (currently $631.00)  makes the process almost entirely inaccessible to many low-income Canadians. Continuing to have a criminal record prevents former offenders from gaining meaningful employment, which in turn means they are unable to significantly improve their quality of life. This undermines the value of rehabilitation and reintegration that is the very purpose of the record suspension program.

Student Legal Services urges the public to visit to learn more about the current record suspension program and participate in this online consultation. It is important for the Parole Board of Canada to consider how the high fees negatively impact the majority of those who have been involved in the criminal system.

If you agree with our position and are interested in participating in the online consultation please feel free to make use of our model answers provided HERE. For more detailed information on why Student Legal Services believes the record suspension application fee should be decreased please click HERE for our detailed position on why the Recrod Suspension Application fee should be decreased.

This consultation ends on June 10, 2016.


This information is not legal advice, and we cannot guarantee it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. See our disclaimer & terms of use.




What is a record suspension (previously called a pardon)?

What are the limits of a record suspension?

Do I need to apply to get a record suspension?

Am I eligible for a record suspension?

How do I apply for a record suspension?

Where can I get help or more information?




A record suspension (formerly called a pardon) removes a person’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) database. 

This means that when a person (for example, an employer) asks for a criminal record check, they will not be able to see your criminal record (or that you have a criminal record and a record suspension).

A record suspension also removes any ineligibility for Canadian citizenship caused by a criminal conviction. 




1. A record suspension does not mean that your criminal record is destroyed. Your criminal record is removed from CPIC, but the government still has it on file. 

2. A record suspension does not guarantee entry into another country.

3. Record suspensions only relate to federal agencies, so municipal and provincial agencies do not have to seal the records of an individual with a record suspension. 

4. Record suspensions do not end prohibition Orders. If your sentence included a ban on the possession of firearms or driving, this remains in effect.  

5. If you have been convicted of a sexual offence, then this conviction will remain flagged in the CPIC system. It will show up when a vulnerable sector record check is conducted. 

6. A record suspension may be cancelled/taken away if:

a. You are later convicted of an offence under a federal act, 

b. You are “no longer of good conduct”, or 

c. You provided false or deceptive information in your application.





You need to apply and be approved for a record suspension unless:


1 You were found guilty only in a youth court. If this is the case, your record will be automatically destroyed or archived. 

o This will happen after the applicable amount of time has passed if you have not been convicted of more offences during this time. The amount of time you have to wait depends on what offence you were convicted of. 



2 You were sentenced to an absolute or conditional discharge on or after July 24, 1992. If this is the case, your record will automatically be removed from the CPIC system.  

o This will happen one year (for an absolute discharge) or three years (for a conditional discharge) after the court decision.  





You are eligible for a record suspension if:


1. You were convicted of an offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation, or you were convicted of an offence in another country and transferred to Canada.  

Violations of the Criminal Code (most criminal offences), and the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (most drug-related offences) are federal.


2. You have completed your sentence. 

All fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation Orders are paid in full,

All terms of imprisonment and conditional sentencing Orders have been served, AND

All probation periods are over.

*If you have a prohibition Order (for example a ban on possessing firearms), it does not need to be expired for the sentence to be complete. 


3. You have waited the required waiting period. 

For summary (less serious) offences, the wait time is 5 years after you have completed your sentence. 

For indictable (more serious) offences, the wait time is 10 years after you have completed your sentence.


4. You can demonstrate that you are now a law-abiding citizen.


You are not eligible for a record suspension if:


1. You have been convicted of a Schedule 1 Offence (a sexual offence involving a child) under the Criminal Records Act. 


2. You have been convicted of more than three indictable (more serious) offences AND received a sentence of two years or more for each.  





Record suspensions are ONLY granted by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). The PBC, and their official website (, can be recognized by this symbol: 



*Note: Any agency or person claiming they can guarantee you a record suspension, or make the process faster, is not telling you the truth. All applications are treated equally by the PBC. 

You can apply for a record suspension with the help of a lawyer or professional, but you do not need to.


Record Suspension Application Guide and Application Form


The fist step in applying for a record suspension is getting a Record Suspension Application Guide from the PBC. These can be found at the following locations: 


Online (Parole Board of Canada Website:

Local Police Station

Local Parole Board of Canada office 

Edmonton office: 

Scotia Place, Scotia 2 (10060 Jasper Avenue)

4th floor, Suite 401

Phone: (780) 495-3404


The Application Guide contains step-by-step application instructions. The instructions will ask you to submit these things as part of your application: 


1. Your criminal record from the RCMP in Ottawa 

2. Your court information

3. Your military conduct sheet (if you are a current or former member of the Canadian Forces)

4. Your criminal record from the local police station

5. Proof of Canadian citizenship, or immigration documents

6. A photocopy of your government identification 

7. An application fee of $631


*If your record suspension is denied, you can reapply after one year.



Parole Board of Canada Record Suspension Info Line 



Parole Board of Canada  

Scotia Place, Scotia 2, Suite 401

  4th floor, 10060 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, AB 

(780) 495-3404


Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton Record Suspension Program

This program helps women with the process of applying for a record suspension 

10523 100 Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB 

(780) 421-1175

Student Legal Services

Law students with the Legal Education & Reform project can provide information or presentations about applying for a record suspension 

11011 88 Avenue

Edmonton, AB

(780) 492-2226

Legal information: