Kafka would be proud

By April 22, 2012 Pardon 4 Comments

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.

 

 

About Michael Ashby

Michael Ashby is Co-Founder and Communications Director for the National Pardon Centre. Get in touch with Michael by sending an email to mashby@nationalpardon.org or calling extension 227.Michael Ashby est le co-fondateur et le directeur des communications au Centre du Pardon national. Contactez Michael par email au mashby@nationalpardon.org ou par téléphone au poste 227.

4 Comments

  • Phil says:

    “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;”

    I was always under the impression that with the new bill C-10, any conviction listed in Schedule 1 (summary or conviction) would not be eligible to get a record suspension regardless of the time spent since the conviction

    Thanks for the clarification

    • Michael says:

      Hi Phil,

      Pardons were eliminated for anyone with a sexual offence against a minor or for anyone with more than 3 indictable offences in which the sentence was more than 2 years in jail for each offence. Otherwise pardons are still available.

      Any other questions please let me know.

      Michael

  • Kevin says:

    Michael:

    My file went to parole board in Feb. PardonsCanada called me with urgent message shortly before to get the buck fifty check to them before price went up which I did. Initial estimate 9-16 months. February was 9. New estimate by them: parole board can take 6-12 months. Called parole board myself. Agent told me 14 months before we blow the dust off it. I started a course that requires a clinical placement in a hospital under the pretext of the initial estimate. Had to postpone my placement. Looks like I won’t get the pardon in time to do it without having to repeat the course. 2 grand wasted. If I understand you correctly I would have been better off waiting a few days and paying the new price for a pardon. The behaviour of the agency I contracted to do the work speaks for itself. How can the government justify processing newer files faster than ones that have already been submitted?

    Thanks for the informative blog.

    • Michael says:

      HI Kevin,

      You are not alone. Many people find themeselves in disbelief at the behaviour of the Conservative government and Parole Board. I am not sure how they justify this one to be honest. As for waiting an extra few days none of us had any idea the Parole Board would do this when the fee was set to increase. We also tried to get as many pardons in as possible befor ethe fee went up because it seemed like the logical thing to do in the best interest of our clients. Had we known this processing discrepancy was going to be the new reality we would have at least offered our clients the choice.

      Kind regards,

      Michael

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