Canada Pardon Services pleads guilty to consumer law breaches

Quebec consumer protection agency says firm side-stepped provincial rules

The Quebec Office for the Protection of Consumers has announced that Canada Pardon Services, a company specializing in obtaining judicial pardons for people with criminal records, has been found guilty by a tribunal of violating provincial consumer protection law.

According to a release from the provincial agency, the Ontario-based company pleaded guilty in October 2019 to charges. While the company will be paying a $12,123 fine, its owner, Hicham Chirdi, will be paying a fine of $7,314.

The consumer protection office says the company presents itself on its online web page in a manner suggesting deceptively that it is a government branch. The office says that over the years, Canada Pardon Services has been the object of hundreds of complaints about its practices.

The company was accused of not respecting terms in its contracts, namely not disclosing all requested information, of not sending a written contract to clients within 15 days of transactions, of receiving sums before fulfilling contract obligations, and of not reimbursing sums to clients within 15 days when asked, as required by law.

All the charges stem from activities by the company from October 2017 to March 2018 in Laval and in Saint-Eugène-de-Grantham. The company’s head office is located in Toronto.