Pardon Backlog – WHERE’S MY PARDON?
Can’t work, can’t volunteer, can’t live and still waiting? If you were one of the unlucky 22,000 people that submitted a pardon application to the Parole Board between July 2010 and February 23, 2012, it’s likely that you are still waiting for your pardon to be granted. You are considered part of the pardon backlog and there is no one in the government feeling terribly compelled to help you out.
Why is there a pardon backlog?
The Harper government increased the filing fee for pardon applications from $150 to $631 on February 23, 2012. On March 12, 2012 some additional changes were made to the legislation which created the pardon backlog, most notably:
- Pardons renamed Record Suspensions
- Waiting period to become eligible for a Record Suspension increased from 3 to 5 years for Summary convictions and 5 to 10 years for Indictable convictions
- Certain persons became no longer eligible to apply for a record suspension
Following these changes the Parole Board made the decision to prioritize applications submitted under the new legislation and increased fee, over those already in process. This created a pardon backlog of thousands of applications.
Â Am I affected by the new laws?
If your application was submitted prior to February 23, 2012, you are not subject to the increased submission fee or new record suspension legislation. Unfortunately, you are part of the pardon backlog.
What is being done regarding the backlog?
At the end of November 2012, new employees were hired to work specifically on the backlog of pardon applications at the Parole Board, which numbered approximately 22,000 at the time. Current estimates place the number of files in the pardon backlog at approximately 20,000.
How much longer will I be waiting?
There is no estimated timeframe for when the pardon backlog will be cleared. The Parole Board posts online which applications they are currently working on (http://www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca/prdons/backlog-eng.shtml), although we are seeing applications being processed that were submitted after the posted dates.
Can I expedite the process?
Unfortunately politicians, lawyers, and personal pleas will not get your pardon granted any more quickly. Pardon companies also have no control over the government or their processing times. If you wish to submit your file under the new legislation and have it removed from the pardon backlog you can. You must first qualify under the new eligibility guidelines, re-do your police check(s), write a detailed personal letter of explanation to the Board regarding your application, and pay the $631.00 submission fee.
How do I get an update?
The Parole Board will not tell you when your application will be processed. They will confirm that your application was received, and notify you (or us) in writing when your file has been assigned to an agent for review. Beyond that good luck getting an answer regarding when to expect your pardon, but you’re welcome to try: 1-800-874-2652.
How long will my application be under review once assigned to an agent?
The Parole Board states that all timeframes are â€œestimatesâ€ and â€œnot guaranteedâ€, but say on average files take 3 months in process once assigned to an agent if there is no proposal to deny your pardon.
What do I do for now?
For the moment you can only wait patiently, unless you would like to start a new application. If you completed your application with our company we will notify you as soon we receive any information from the Parole Board regarding your pardon.
Questions? Give me a call.
Kate Duncan Ext. 240