OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 12, 2013) -

Editors note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Despite a whopping 400% increase in the Parole Board of Canada's pardon application fee, individuals with a criminal record should still consider a pardon to be good value, according to a senior executive in the pardon application industry.

In speaking at a conference of industry leaders in Toronto on Wednesday, Chris Heringer, CEO of Pardon Applications of Canada Ltd., explained that "the unique privilege available for Canadians to seal their criminal record is a financial no-brainer."

The private firm, which Heringer co-founded in 2011, assists Canadians in completing pardon and waiver applications before they are submitted for approval by either the Canadian or U.S. government. In basic terms, a pardon seals an individual's criminal record from public visibility. A waiver is a document which can provide legal permission for a Canadian with a criminal record to enter the United States.

Heringer noted that the more than 5 million Canadians with a criminal record generally recognize the importance of obtaining a pardon. But recent legislative changes in the pardon system resulted in a substantial increase of the application fee, making it a "little tougher pill to swallow."

In March 2012, the conservative government passed a controversial Omnibus crime bill. Among the bill's many components, the term "pardon" was changed to "record suspension", and the application fee was increased from $150 to $631. Many felt the dramatic hike represented an unnecessary toll on Canadians with a criminal record, especially since most pardon applicants are sincerely looking to take a positive step in their life.

But Heringer suggested the potentially lifelong value of having a second chance at a criminal record far exceeds the price.

"Assuming you retain an accredited service to complete your pardon application, the overall cost is typically around $1200, which includes the government's $631 fee," said Heringer. "And since the pardon process normally takes around a year, we're talking about $100 per month. Some people pay more for their cell phone," he added.

According to the Parole Board of Canada's website, over 450,000 Canadians have received a pardon since 1970, with 96% still in force today. Since a pardon is typically revoked should the individual reoffend, the statistic demonstrates that the vast majority of pardon recipients have remained crime free. Some question why the government made such a dramatic fee increase given that the system already appeared to be working.

"Getting a pardon represents peace of mind and a second chance for Canadians with a criminal record," said Heringer. "You can't put a price on that."

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Contact Information:

Pardon Applications of Canada
Jennifer Roberts
(613) 703-9870