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Bill C-415

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First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66-67 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017-2018
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-415
An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain cannabis-related convictions
FIRST READING, October 4, 2018
Mr. Rankin
421507


SUMMARY
This enactment establishes a procedure for expunging certain cannabis-related convictions and provides for the destruction or removal of the judicial records of those convictions that are in federal repositories and systems.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
64-65-66-67 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017-2018
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-415
An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain cannabis-related convictions
Preamble
Whereas under the Cannabis Act, certain activities in respect of cannabis are now permitted;
Whereas members of marginalized and racialized communities were convicted in disproportionate numbers of offences in respect of those activities before the coming into force of the Cannabis Act;
And whereas such convictions have had a negative impact on their employment prospects, housing opportunities and mental health;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Short title
1This Act may be cited as the Expungement of Certain Cannabis-related Convictions Act.

Interpretation

Definitions
2The following definitions apply in this Act.
Board means the Parole Board of Canada. (Commission)
Chairperson means the Chairperson of the Board designated under section 104 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. (président)

Powers, Duties and Functions

Powers of Board
3The Board may, in accordance with this Act, order or refuse to order expungement of
(a)a conviction for the possession of a substance included in item 1 of Schedule II to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as that Schedule read from time to time before the coming into force of section 204 of the Cannabis Act, if that activity would not have constituted an offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or any other Act of Parliament had it been conducted on or after the day of that coming into force; and
(b)a conviction in respect of an offence listed in the schedule to this Act.
Delegation
4The Board, subject to the approval of the Chairperson, may confer on any of its employees or class of its employees any of its powers, duties or functions under this Act.

Expungement

Effects

Effect of expungement
5(1)If the Board orders expungement of a conviction, the person convicted of the offence is deemed never to have been charged with and convicted of that offence.
Lawful act
(2)Nothing in this Act has the effect of making unlawful a lawful act or omission related to the expunged conviction that was committed prior to the expungement order.
Royal prerogative
6Nothing in this Act in any manner limits or affects Her Majesty’s royal prerogative of mercy.

Procedure

Application
7(1)A person who has been convicted in respect of the activity described in paragraph 3(a) or of an offence listed in the schedule may apply to the Board for an expungement order.
Form, manner and content
(2)An application for an expungement order must be in the form and manner determined by the Board and must include a sworn statement or solemn declaration by the applicant that the conviction in question is in respect of the activity described in paragraph 3(a) or an offence listed in the schedule.
No fee payable
(3)No fee may be imposed in respect of an application made under subsection (1).
Incomplete application
8If the Board determines that an application is incomplete, the Board may return it to the applicant at any time.
Eligibility
9(1)The Board must reject any application that does not relate to a conviction in respect of the activity described in paragraph 3(a) or an offence listed in the schedule.
Notice
(2)The applicant must be advised in writing of the rejection of their application.
Inquiries
10On receipt of an application, the Board may cause inquiries to be made
(a)for the purpose of determining whether the applicant is eligible to apply for an expungement order under section 7; and
(b)for the purposes of the review under section 11.
Review
11Subject to sections 8 and 9, the Board must review the application and the evidence gathered through any inquiries and determine whether there is evidence that the activity in respect of which the application is made is prohibited under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or any other Act of Parliament at the time the application is reviewed.

Order

Order to expunge
12Subject to sections 8 and 9, the Board must order expungement of the conviction in respect of the offence for which the application was made if the Board’s review reveals no evidence referred to in section 11.
Refusal
13Subject to sections 8 and 9, if the Board’s review reveals evidence referred to in section 11, the Board must refuse to order expungement of the conviction in respect of the offence for which the application was made.
Notice to applicant
14The Board must notify the applicant in writing of the expungement order or of its refusal to order expungement.

Destruction and Removal

Notification to RCMP
15The Board must notify the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of any expungement order. The Board must also notify any superior, provincial or municipal court that, to its knowledge, has custody of any judicial record of the conviction to which the expungement order relates.
Destruction or removal by RCMP
16As soon as feasible after receipt of a notification from the Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police must destroy or remove any judicial record of the conviction to which the expungement order relates that is in its repositories or systems.
Notification by RCMP
17As soon as feasible after receipt of a notification from the Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police must provide notification of the expungement order to any federal department or agency, and to any provincial or municipal police force, that, to its knowledge, has custody of any judicial record of the conviction to which the expungement order relates.
Destruction or removal by departments and agencies
18As soon as feasible after receipt of a notification from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, each federal department or agency must destroy or remove any judicial record of the conviction to which the expungement order relates that is in its repositories or systems.
Non-application
19Sections 16 and 18 apply despite sections 12 and 13 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act, subsections 6(1) and (3) of the Privacy Act and any other provision of an Act of Parliament.
For greater certainty
20For greater certainty, sections 16 to 19 do not apply to documents submitted or produced in respect of an application under this Act.

Amendment of Schedule

Schedule
21(1)Subject to the conditions referred to in subsection (2), the Governor in Council may, by order, add to the schedule any item or portion of an item.
Conditions
(2)In order to provide for expungement of convictions arising from an activity respecting cannabis as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Cannabis Act, the Governor in Council may add any item or portion of an item to the schedule if the activity no longer constitutes an offence under an Act of Parliament and the Governor in Council is of the opinion that expungement of convictions in respect of the activity would not be contrary to the public interest.
R.‍S.‍, c. 46

Related Amendments to the Criminal Code

22(1)Subsection 607(1) of the Criminal Code is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (c), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (d) and by adding the following after paragraph (d):
(e)an expungement order under the Expungement of Certain Cannabis-related Convictions Act.
(2)Subsection 607(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Disposal
(3)The pleas of autrefois acquit, autrefois convict, pardon and an expungement order under the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Actor the Expungement of Certain Cannabis-related Convictions Act shall be disposed of by the judge without a jury before the accused is called on to plead further.


SCHEDULE

(Section 3, subsections 7(1) and (2) and 9(1) and section 21)

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