The Parole Board of Canada has announced that it will clear the pardon backlog by March 2017. The Backlog was created by the Conservative government when it amended the law to make pardons more difficult to obtain.
The result was a backlog of applications that had been submitted just prior to the legislation changes. Those applications were grandfathered under the old rules but as time went by it seemed like the Parole Board was intentionally not doing its job. At one time the number of pardon applications stuck in limbo numbered 22,000 cases.
Nowadays because of the User Fee Act applications are guaranteed to meet certain service standards. In other words the Parole Board is not permitted, by law, to take more than a certain amount of time to review a case.
The new standards are as follows. Keep in mind that these time frames apply AFTER the application has been prepared, which can take months.
- Up to 6 months for a summary offence;
- Up to 12 months for an indictable offence;
- Up to 24 months where the Board proposes to refuse.
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