Mr. Speaker, in fact, these are two separate processes.
Just to be very clear, because I think it is an important point, if somebody was convicted and we have three offences that are listed here, buggery, anal intercourse, or gross indecency, these are convictions that should have never occurred. They are a violation of people's fundamental Charter of Rights. We are acknowledging that these are a very different class of offences than any other because they should never have existed.
Expungement means a complete destruction of those records. They are gone. Once somebody applies for expungement, it is destroyed within their record. It does not exist any longer. It should be noted that that is only available for those offences where it was between consenting adults, where it was same sex in nature, where they were 16 years of age, or where there was a close in age provision, so that we are really dealing with just those.
The RCMP has said that there are about 9,000 on file. That does not mean that the full 9,000 are available for expungement because some of those might not have been consensual, or some of those individuals may have died and somebody might not exercise the right posthumously, although it was available for them to expunge it. This is very different than the process that exists for somebody who is seeking a pardon.
Somebody who is seeking a pardon, who broke a law in Canada and served their time, in whatever fashion that represented, and wants to get that removed from their record, cannot do so permanently. However, a pardon allows them as part of the rehabilitation process, to receive a pardon that is not a part of their immediately available criminal record. If that person committed an offence that was violently sexual in nature, and there was a check done to see if that person can work with a vulnerable part of the population, for example, children, then that record would actually show up even though there was a pardon. Expungement is very different from a pardon in that regard.