It’s been confirmed by the Parole Board of Canada that record suspensions and pardons will be processed much faster than in the recent past, provided your application was submitted under the new cost structure that came into effect February 23, 2012.
Summed up, if you paid more money you get your pardon faster. If you paid less money you will be required to wait longer and the Parole Board cannot guarantee a specific turn-around time to process your application.
This hardly seems fair. But it’s par for the course to anyone who has been following the debate. To sum up: If you paid $50 or $150 to the Receiver General of Canada when you submitted your pardon application no time frame for its completion can be provided. Based on our experience it’s taking quite a long time indeed. But we hope that the backlog will soon be eased and things will start moving a little smoother.
If you paid $631 to the Receiver General of Canada when you submitted your pardon application then specific, guaranteed time frames will apply, which is actually good news. But since it can’t be easy managing the enormous number of pardon submissions it looks like the more expensive version is going to be getting the attention for some time to come. The User Fee Act requires that the Parole Board conform to certain service standards which are listed below:
- Applications involving summary convictions, including sexual offences not listed in Schedule 1, will be processed within six (6) months of application acceptance;
- Applications involving an indictable offence (5 year eligibility) will be processed within six (6) months of application acceptance;
- Applications involving offences listed in Schedule 1, regardless of method of trial and personal injury offences (s 752 Criminal Code) where the administration of justice will need to be measured/tested, will be processed within 12 months of application acceptance; and,
- Applications in which the Board is proposing to deny will require up to 24 months after application acceptance to complete.
So the logic, loosely organized goes something like this. Getting a record suspension is faster but you have to wait longer to become eligible to have one (as a result of bill c-10 which changed the eligibility requirements). Getting a pardon, on the other hand, is slower but you had to wait less time to become eligible.
Kafka would be proud.