ICANN, the governing body for domain names, has implemented an "Expired Domain Deletion Policy". Below is the information regarding this policy.
At the conclusion of the registration period of your domain your domain name may be placed in an auto-renew grace period. The auto-renew grace period lasts approximately 40 Days. We are not obligated to provide this service and as such shall not be liable for any costs related to this. During this period we may direct the domain name to name-servers and IP address(es) designated by us, including, without limitation, to no IP address or to IP address(es) which host a parking page or a commercial search engine that may display advertisements.
After the auto-renew grace period the domain will be cancelled and placed into a process called "Redemption Grace Period" with the applicable registries. Redemption Grace Period lasts 30 Days. At this point the domain is still recoverable. There is however a $80.00 CAD fee to recover the domain from Redemption plus any registration fees. Note: .CA domains have a $300.00 Redemption fee.
Once the Redemption Grace Period has completed the domain is placed into a Pending Delete status at which point the domain is not recoverable. Pending Delete Period lasts 5 days. Once the 5 days is over the domain will be released to the public for anyone to re-register.