ALG’s Frank Addario is quoted in a January 20, 2021 article in the Globe and Mail on the politics of President Trump’s pardons and sentence commutations in the final hours of his presidency. Frank told the Globe’s Sean Fine that Canada doesn’t have the same “history of flamboyance” around granting clemency as the United States, noting that pardons are “seen as one of those hands-off areas for politicians.”
U.S. media reported that President Trump announced a list of 70 pardons and 73 commutations in the last 12 hours before leaving office. The list included former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and rapper Lil’ Wayne.
In Canada, criminal record suspensions and clemency decisions are primarily the responsibility of the Parole Board of Canada. Full pardons are extremely rare.