I am sorry to announce that Vic Toews and the Conservative government have proceeded with their proposed changes to the Pardon program by drastically raising the filing fee payable to the Parole Board of Canada. And if course it comes after a consultation which unanimously opposed the increase. This clearly makes pardons more accessible for the rich and will negatively affect those already struggling to put their lives back on track.
I just have to add that I think this administration should be ashamed of its evident disregard for social equality and I really wish I had better news to report.
Below is the official announcement from the PBC website.
Important Notice to Pardon Applicants: User Fee Increase
The user fee for the processing of a pardon application will be increasing to $631 as of February 23, 2012.
Applications received or post-marked on or before February 22, 2012 will be accepted under the former $150 application fee as long as they are deemed to be eligible and complete by the PBC at the time of receipt.
Ineligible and incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant along with their $150 application fee. These applications will become subject to the new fee as of February 23, 2012.
The increase to the user fee follows through on the Government’s plan to implement a new fee system that requires users to assume the cost of processing a pardon application.
The new fee will provide the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) with the additional capacity to manage its pardons workloads, and to address operational requirements as a result of changes to the Criminal Records Act (CRA). It will ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the Pardons program, and that the Parole Board can continue to meet its important public safety mandate.