In October 2022, a group of Fresh Start Coalition members — including members of our Community Expertise Committee — had a virtual meeting with the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino. The meeting provided an important opportunity to ensure the Minister heard directly from people affected by criminal records.
Following the meeting, we sent Minister Mendicino a letter outlining four key elements that we hope to see reflected in a future bill proposing amendments to the Criminal Records Act:
- Get rid of the application process, which is cumbersome, complicated to navigate, and inaccessible to the most marginalized groups of people.
- Make sure the system combats systemic discrimination by making a record suspension contingent on a lack of new convictions, as opposed to including considerations such as police contact or unproven allegations.
- Shorten the timelines before people are eligible for a record suspension.
- Make it a comprehensive system that applies to all offences.
To learn more, read our November 2022 letter to the Minister of Public Safety.