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SECU Committee Report

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In accordance with its Order of Reference of Tuesday, October 30, 2018 your Committee has considered M-161, Record Suspension Program and has agreed to report the following:
  1. The Committee recognizes that a criminal record has a negative impact on a person’s ability to find employment, housing, education, travel, adoption and custody of children, and also recognizes that the record suspension process must operate in a way that is sensitive to victims;
  2. The Committee recognizes that an applicant’s financial situation and ability to pay may be a barrier to applying, therefore the Committee recommends that the Government review record suspension fees, and fee structure;
  3. That the Government review the complexity of the record suspension process and consider other measures that could be put in place to support applicants through the record suspension process and make it more accessible;
  4. That, with a view to identifying options, the Government examine approaches to criminal record suspensions in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia;
  5. That the Government consider regulating those individuals or entities who are charging fees to help current or prospective applicants with the record suspension process;
  6. The Committee recommends that the Government review use of the term “record suspension”, recognizing the impact it has on applicants and program objectives; and
  7. That the Government examine a mechanism to make record suspensions automatic in specific and appropriate circumstances.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Committee requests a Government response to this Report.

A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meetings Nos. 134, 143 and 144 ) is tabled.