2019-20 Parole Board of Canada Departmental Plan

Chairperson’s Message

As Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) I am pleased to present the 2019-20 Departmental Plan. This report highlights our main areas of focus and the results we aim to achieve over the coming year.

The PBC contributes to the Government of Canada’s outcome of a safe and secure Canada by making timely conditional release, record suspension, and expungement decisions and clemency recommendations, in an open and accountable manner, while respecting the rights and dignity of both offenders and victims, in accordance with its statutory responsibilities and authorities.

To better execute these core responsibilities, this year the PBC will focus on efforts to bolster internal capacity for policy analysis and research; outreach and engagement with communities across Canada; strengthen our Information Technology capability and governance; and generally adopt a more strategic, future-oriented approach to our business that anticipates challenges and change. For example, work will be undertaken to improve decision-making tools to better serve marginalized offender groups, including Indigenous peoples, women and offenders with mental health issues.

In 2019-20, we will continue to seek to build and maintain strong partnerships at home and abroad with our criminal justice partners and victims. The PBC supports the Government’s commitment to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, and to this end, the PBC will work closely with its Indigenous partners and communities, as well as other federal government departments and community partners, to enhance and strengthen our responsiveness to the needs of Indigenous peoples.

We will continue to enhance the Board’s position as a model Public Service employer by strengthening our use of technology, taking care of Board members and employees and building an environment that helps to support each team member, and ensuring that our organizational values of respect, openness, integrity, accountability and excellence are upheld.

I am confident that, by carrying out the plans and priorities laid out in this report, the PBC will continue to successfully fulfill its important public safety mandate while demonstrating the highest levels of quality, professionalism, dedication and efficiency.

I invite you to read this report to learn more about PBC’s plans and priorities for 2019-20.

Jennifer Oades
Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada

Plans at a glance and operating context

As an independent administrative tribunal, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) contributes to keeping Canadians safe.

The PBC contributes to the protection of society by facilitating, as appropriate, the timely reintegration of offenders as law-abiding citizens. Public safety is the primary consideration in all PBC decisions.

In 2019-20, the PBC’s corporate priorities are to:

  • Enhance Board member, staff, and organizational capacity in the application of legislative requirements;
  • Create an Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) strategy that meets the PBC’s evolving requirements;
  • Cultivate a people management regime that fosters a healthy and productive workplace;
  • Strengthen responsiveness to the needs of Indigenous Peoples; and
  • Enhance communication of its policies and programs to partners, victims, applicants, offenders, and Canadians.

In addition, the PBC’s key planning commitments in support of the government’s priorities include:

  • Continuing to work with criminal justice partners to implement legislative changes;
  • Exploring opportunities to better address the unique needs of Indigenous and women offenders in parole hearings;
  • Investing in Information Technology (IT) strategic direction, and
  • Renewing its partnerships and outreach strategy to build stronger relationships in communities.
PUBLIC SAFETY PORTFOLIO
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • Correctional Service Canada
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Parole Board of Canada

The PBC works in a dynamic environment that demands careful assessment of criminal justice issues and community concerns to ensure alignment with the Government of Canada’s outcome of a safe and secure Canada. Public safety remains the PBC’s primary consideration in all aspects of decision-making policy, training, and operations.

The PBC delivers core responsibilities grounded in legislation: conditional release, record suspension/pardon, clemency, and expungement. The PBC also manages a range of internal services that provide critical support for the delivery of core responsibilities. The conditional release area is the largest and accounts for approximately three-quarters of gross annual program expenditures.

The PBC works closely with its criminal justice partners to coordinate, oversee and analyze legislative amendments and government initiatives, specifically in relation to its conditional release and record suspension/pardon and expungement programs.

In addition, the disproportionate number of Indigenous offenders in federal corrections compels the PBC to redouble its efforts to ensure that Indigenous offenders are aware of our programs and that there are no systemic barriers to Indigenous involvement in these areas. The PBC continues to work with stakeholders to support the reintegration of Indigenous offenders into the community and address the needs of Indigenous victims. Furthermore, the PBC works diligently to address the broad diversity of offender risk and needs, including Indigenous offenders, women offenders, and those with mental heath illnesses.

As a small department, the PBC does not have the capacity to specifically dedicate resources or funding to experiment with new approaches to develop service delivery options for its programs. However, the PBC does invest time and resources to ensure that its decision-making policies, tools, and research are supported and grounded by evidence-based approaches.

Conditional Release

The PBC's workloads nationally and across its five regions are shaped by many factors, some of which are beyond its control. The legislation governing conditional release is the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). The CCRA is prescriptive, specifying when and how the PBC makes conditional release decisions (e.g., when a review is required by law; and when to use hearings). In addition, workloads are driven by the actions of offenders, victims and the community. In concrete terms, this means that the PBC must deal with high workload volumes involving issues critical to public safety under tight timeframes, and amid intense public scrutiny.

As part of the PBC’s openness and accountability core responsibility, the Board has a legislated mandate to:

  • share information with victims of crime;
  • provide information and assistance to those who wish to observe PBC hearings or gain access to the PBC's Decision Registry; and
  • communicate information to the public.

Record Suspension/Pardons, Clemency, and Expungements

The PBC’s record suspension/pardon program is also shaped by a wide range of factors. Legislation governing the PBC’s work (i.e., the Criminal Records Act (CRA)) is prescriptive, specifying precisely how it conducts its business (e.g., admissibility). Fluctuating application volumes for record suspensions or pardon applications, as well as operational adjustments required further to court decisions or legislative changes, means that the PBC must balance varying workload volumes across business lines, involving issues critical to public safety and amid intense public scrutiny.

Since February 2012, applicants for a record suspension/pardon are charged a processing fee of $631. Consequently, the PBC adheres to established service standards prescribed by requirements of the Service Fees Act.

In order to be responsive to the application volumes, human resource strategies, streamlined processes and better investigation strategies have been adopted.

Finally, since 2018, under the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, the PBC is responsible for ordering or refusing to order expungement of historically unjust convictions that would be lawful today.

Strategic Resource Management

The PBC will continue to address the need for strategic management of human, financial, security, and information and technology resources to support quality program delivery. The PBC is committed to ensuring a strong, diverse, and dynamic workforce that excels in delivering the PBC’s mandate to Canadians, today and in the years to come.

A key challenge for the PBC is to stabilize its workforce and strengthen succession planning in relation to both its Board members and public service staff. It is essential for the PBC to maintain sufficient numbers of Board members, who are Governor-in-Council term appointments. The Corrections and Conditional Release Act specifies that the PBC will be comprised of no more than 60 full-time Board members, and provides for the appointment of part-time members to help manage fluctuating conditional release decision-making workloads. The PBC continues to work with key partners and to solicit interest among diverse professions and communities to identify sufficient numbers of qualified candidates for consideration for selection as Board members. The PBC also provides continuous training and support to ensure that Board members have the knowledge they need to adhere to legislation and regulations, and assess risk in their decision-making.

In addition, departures of experienced public service staff have a significant impact as they erode corporate memory and diminish critical knowledge of law, policy, and training. The effect of this is especially acute in a small organization. Staff provide the continuity of knowledge and information essential for support and delivery of programs. As such, the PBC has developed and continues to update its human resources plan for dealing with staff turnover and has identified succession planning as a key priority for PBC senior manager’s performance objectives.

Timely access to relevant information provides the foundation for quality conditional release and record suspension decision-making and clemency recommendations, and ultimately for the PBC’s continuing contribution to public safety. In addition, the PBC must execute legislated responsibilities for sharing information with victims of crime, offenders, criminal justice partners, media, and the public as effectively and efficiently as possible. In this environment, strategic information management is crucial, requiring the PBC to have the automated systems necessary to support effective collection, storage, and sharing of information. Additionally, the PBC must have in place the policies and procedures necessary to ensure effective information management and sound decision-making. Progress in these areas requires the assistance of the CSC, the PBC’s information technology service provider.

For the foreseeable future, it is anticipated that the PBC will face complex and growing workload pressures in areas of legislated responsibility. For this reason, strong strategic management of financial resources is essential to closely monitor impacts and identify opportunities to reallocate and re-invest in the PBC’s core responsibilities in line with changing priorities.

For more information on the PBC’s plans, priorities, and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core Responsibilities

Conditional Release Decisions

Conditional release is based on the principle that community safety is enhanced by the gradual, supervised release of offenders to the community. Quality conditional release decisions, based on the risk of re-offending in conjunction with effective programs and treatment, and effective community supervision all contribute to the process. Through this core responsibility, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) staff provides timely, accurate information for Board member decision-making, and develops training and policies that are essential tools for risk assessment and decision-making.

Planning highlights

The PBC’s Conditional Release core responsibility is grounded in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. In 2019-20, the PBC will continue to work closely with criminal justice partners (i.e., Public Safety, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Department of Justice, and other community partners) to support quality conditional release decisions. In 2019-20, the PBC expects to complete approximately 15,600 conditional release reviews for federal and provincial/territorial offenders.

The PBC will continue to bolster Board member capacity and training over the next year to ensure that quality conditional release decisions are rendered. With a stable complement of Board members now in place, the PBC will continue to provide support and direction to these new Board members. The PBC supports the government’s approach to openness, accountability and transparency, and will continue to work with the Privy Council Office (PCO) to help strengthen the Board member qualification process. In 2019-20, the PBC will explore opportunities to increase its autonomy over some aspects of the Board member appointment process. The PBC will ensure any matters of professional conduct are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

It is essential that all conditional release decisions adhere to the law and principles of fundamental justice, and this is one of the PBC’s Departmental Results. While the PBC has significant mitigation strategies already in place, quality decision-making remains one of the PBC’s key risks. Thorough training is the foundation for decision-making, and the PBC plans to conduct a full review of the Board member orientation training, to ensure quality and consistent regional training. To further mitigate this risk, and in support of its corporate priority to enhance Board member, staff, and organization capacity, the PBC has also committed to conducting a policy review, and a review of other elements of program delivery.

The needs of Indigenous offenders continues to be a central consideration of the PBC’s work. The PBC provides alternate models of parole hearings, specifically Elder-Assisted Hearings (EAHs) and Community-Assisted Hearings (CAHs), which are responsive to the unique cultural values and traditions of Indigenous peoples. In 2018-19, the PBC conducted a review of the EAH process to determine the effectiveness of changes implemented following the 2011 review, including changes to policy and procedures. Preliminary findings indicate there are possible regional differences in the management of EAHs and availability of information to offenders about EAH. Specifically, some differences were reported in relation to the role of Elders, victims, and the use of videoconferencing. In 2019-20, the PBC will assess the results of this review and determine next steps.

While the PBC has alternative models of parole hearings for Indigenous offenders, it does not have other models of parole hearings for other groups. The Chairperson has established, as a priority, the need to explore the unique needs of women offenders in the parole process and to determine, as appropriate, what improvements could be made to policy, procedure, or practice. The PBC has created a working group with partners, with the goal of identifying potential improvements in the parole process for women, and parole outcomes by extension.

One of the challenges the PBC has faced in the past is with respect to its Information Technology (IT) capacity, and this remains a key priority for 2019-20. The PBC relies on technology systems to meet its legislated mandate, so to strengthen strategic IT direction the PBC has created a new position and hired a Chief of Information Management/Information Technology to oversee all aspects of IT development and governance. Next year, the PBC will continue to develop and enhance its mission-critical Integrated Decision System (IDS). The PBC will be looking at incorporating audio recordings of hearings into the IDS. This will allow the PBC to be more efficient and effective while performing its duties. The PBC also continues to jointly oversee the Victims Module and Portal with CSC. Additional enhancements are expected to occur with this system in 2019-20 to improve efficiencies and effectiveness for both PBC staff and victims who use the portal.

A gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) assessment of conditional release data indicates that there were no significant disparities between different groups in terms of departmental results with the exception of the Appeals results. While the overall affirmed decision rate for Appeals was 76%, it was only 55% for Indigenous offenders for each of the past two years. Although a discrepancy exists between the global affirmed decision rate and the rate for Indigenous offenders, the PBC continues to strengthen training to its Board members and staff to ensure jurisprudence (e.g., Gladue principles, Twins decision) is applied appropriately, and to increase awareness on various legal issues in conditional release decisions. Similar differences also exist for women offenders. The PBC has commenced work to explore the unique needs of women offenders in the parole process to provide a gender-responsive approach for women through enhancements to its policies, procedures, and practices.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2015-16
Actual results
2016-17
Actual results
2017-18
Actual results
Conditional release decisions contribute to keeping Canadians safe. The percentage of offenders on parole who are not convicted of an offence prior to the end of their supervision period. ≥96% March 31, 2019 99% 99% 99%
The percentage of offenders on parole who are not convicted of a violent offence during their supervision period. ≥98% March 31, 2019 100% 100% 100%
The percentage of offenders who completed their sentences on full parole and who are not re-admitted after release because of a violent conviction (five years post-warrant expiry). ≥98% March 31, 2019 98% 99% 100%
Conditional release decisions adhere to the law, the PBC’s policies, and the principles of fundamental justice. The percentage of decisions that are affirmed by the Appeal Division. ≥95% March 31, 2019 82% 75% 76%Footnote 1

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20
Main Estimates
2019-20
Planned Spending
2020-21
Planned Spending
2021-22
Planned Spending
35,298,122 37,752,653 35,306,791 35,306,791

Human resource (full-time equivalents)

2019-20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time
equivalents
320 320 320

Financial, human resources and performance information for the PBC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Conditional Release Openness and Accountability

This core responsibility ensures that the PBC operates in an open and accountable manner, consistent with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. This core responsibility includes working with victims of crime, offenders, and the public by providing information about our policies and programs, including access to the PBC's Registry of Decisions, as well as providing assistance for observers at hearings. The core responsibility also includes working to encourage citizen engagement, enhancing public education and awareness, investigating major incidents in the community, monitoring the PBC's performance and reporting on conditional release results.

Planning highlights

The PBC will deliver on its legislated responsibilities to provide information to victims, facilitate victim attendance and presentations at hearings, and administer access to offender information, audio recordings and the Decision Registry. The PBC ensures that victims’ rights under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR); and the CCRA are respected, and it takes a collaborative approach to ensure that improvements are made in the services provided to victims, including for example, through its newly reconstituted PBC Committee on Victims with broad community representation to ensure that victim issues are considered.

Since 2017, the PBC has increased in-reach and outreach efforts with respect to Indigenous offenders, and this in turn has contributed to an increased number of EAH. Numbers for CAH remain low given the challenges in planning and executing these types of hearings in the community. However, in 2019-20, the PBC plans to explore opportunities to expand CAH, including enhanced outreach. The Chairperson has made a priority of reconstituting her Chairperson’s Indigenous Circle, drawing on new membership with representation from Indigenous advisors and communities from across Canada to provide invaluable community advice and insight. Stronger relationships with Indigenous Elders and communities should improve the timely exchange of information. Additional work to advance the outstanding elements of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action will also occur in 2019-20, particularly in relation to training for Board members and staff. In 2019-20, the PBC is planning to hold two Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training sessions for Board members and senior PBC managers to sensitize PBC leadership to Indigenous history, culture, and needs.

The PBC has a renewed focus on community outreach and engagement, as it forges different partnerships and creates new community networks. To this end, the newly renamed Public Affairs and Partnerships Division is leading the development of a PBC Outreach Strategy in consultation with the regional offices to better align and coordinate engagement activities across the country with the non-governmental and community sectors. The senior leadership of the PBC also continues to strengthen relationships with regional, national, and international organizations to promote meaningful dialogue and consultation.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2015-16
Actual results
2016-17
Actual results
2017-18
Actual results
The timely exchange of relevant information with victims, offenders, observers, other components of the criminal justice system, and the general public. The percentage of individuals (i.e., observers and victims) that are satisfied with the quality of the service and timeliness of the information provided. ≥80% PBC questionnaire conducted in 2016-17.

 

The next questionnaire is planned for 2022-23.
89% 92%Footnote 2 92%Footnote 3
The percentage of requests for information through the Decision Registry that are responded to in a timely manner. ≥80% March 31, 2019 94% 91% 92%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20
Main Estimates
2019-20
Planned Spending
2020-21
Planned Spending
2021-22
Planned Spending
4,670,030 3,919,520 4,670,030 4,670,030

Human resource (full-time equivalents)

2019-20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
44 44 44

Financial, human resources and performance information for the PBC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations

A record suspension or pardon is designed to support the successful reintegration of an individual into society. It is a formal attempt to remove the stigma of a criminal record for people found guilty of an offence under an Act of Parliament, who have completed their sentence and demonstrated law-abiding behaviour for a prescribed number of years. Record suspensions or pardons can be revoked or cease to have effect for a number of reasons. Through this core responsibility, the PBC screens applications for completeness and eligibility, collects information for Board member decision-making and develops policy to guide decision processes. The PBC is also responsible for assessing requests and providing recommendations under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (i.e., clemency) and providing advice to the Minister on the merits of each case. Additionally, the PBC is responsible for ordering or refusing to order expungements for historically unjust convictions that would be lawful today.

Planning highlights

The PBC will effectively administer this core responsibility by assessing and processing all applications within the established service standards, as set by the Service Fees Act. The PBC will also continue to work with criminal justice partners during the assessment of record suspension/pardon applications and to facilitate processing and investigations. It is estimated that in 2019-20, the PBC will receive approximately 15,000 record suspension/pardon applications and accept approximately 12,000 for processing.

As a result of court decisions in April 2017 (British Columbia) and June 2017 (Ontario), applicants in those provinces may now be considered for a pardon (as it was formerly known before the 2012 legislative amendments) or record suspension, depending on the specifics of the application.

In October 2018, the government announced plans to expedite pardons for Canadians with criminal records for the possession of cannabis. The PBC will undertake the necessary requirements to prepare for the coming into force of the proposed legislation, should this occur during 2019-20. Additionally, the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act came into force in 2018-19. In 2019-20, the PBC will continue to administer this program as well as process all applications that are submitted under this new business activity. These additional workload increases and changes will create pressures and challenges for the PBC and its record suspension/pardon program.

It is estimated that the PBC will receive approximately 40 requests for clemency during 2019-20. The number of clemency requests is expected to remain high as a result of changes made to the Criminal Records Act as well as legislative amendments.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2015-16
Actual results
2016-17
Actual results
2017-18
Actual results
Record suspension and pardon decisions contribute to keeping Canadians safe. The percentage of record suspension or pardon decisions that are not revoked or cease to have effect. ≥95% March 31, 2019 95% 95% 95%
Record suspension and pardon decisions adhere to the law, the PBC’s policies and the principles of fundamental justice. The percentage of cases that do not require a new review by a panel following a Federal Court order.Footnote 4 ≥95% March 31, 2019 N/A N/A N/A
Record suspension and pardon applications are processed in a timely manner. The percentage of record suspension or pardon applications that are processed within the established timeframes.Footnote 5 ≥95% March 31, 2019 100% 100% 100%
Clemency recommendations are made as part of a fair and equitable process. The percentage of clemency files submitted for the Minister’s consideration that are considered complete. ≥95% March 31, 2019 N/A 100% 100%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20
Main Estimates
2019-20
Planned Spending
2020-21
Planned Spending
2021-22
Planned Spending
6,135,746 5,870,786 6,135,746 6,135,746
(5,644,800)Footnote 6 (5,644,800) (5,644,800) (5,644,800)
490,946 225,986 490,946 490,946

Human resource (full-time equivalents)

2019-20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
60 60 60

Financial, human resources and performance information for the PBC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of core responsibilities and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the ten distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The ten service categories are:

  • Management and Oversight Services;
  • Communications Services;
  • Legal Services;
  • Human Resources Management Services;
  • Financial Management Services;
  • Information Management Services;
  • Information Technology Services;
  • Real Property Services;
  • Materiel Services; and
  • Acquisition Services.
Planning highlights

A people management regime that fosters diversity while promoting a healthy and productive workplace is one of the PBC’s corporate priorities for 2019-20. The PBC aims to be an employer of choice, and continues to implement policies and procedures to achieve this. In 2019-20, the PBC will review and update the Workplace Health and Wellness Strategy, and also plans to conduct a Psychological Hazard Analysis Assessment.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20
Main Estimates
2019-20
Planned Spending
2020-21
Planned Spending
2021-22
Planned Spending
6,930,995 7,600,573 6,930,995 6,930,995

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019-20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
61 61 61

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

In 2019-20, the PBC plans to spend $49.5 million in parliamentary authorities to meet the expected results of its core responsibilities.

The figure below illustrates the PBC’s spending trend from 2016-17 to 2021-22.

Planned spending
Text equivalent - Departmental Spending Trend Graph 
  2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Statutory 5,775,237 5,691,332 5,678,702 5,612,695 5,530,335 5,530,335
Voted 41,050,204 42,038,492 43,577,156 43,886,037 41,868,427 41,868,427
Total 46,825,441 47,729,824 49,255,858 49,498,732 47,398,762 47,398,762

The spending amounts presented in the chart for 2016-17 and 2017-18 are actual results presented in the Public Accounts of Canada.

For 2018-19, the PBC has forecasted spending of $49.3 million, which is lower than its total authorities of $51.4 million. The PBC’s spending increased in 2018-19 compared to prior years and is attributed to the estimated payment of retroactive amounts owing under negotiated salary adjustments.

The projected spending for 2019-20 is $49.5 million, which includes:

  • Funding to be received through the Main Estimates of $47.4 million; and
  • Anticipated carry-forward of lapsed funds from 2018-19 of $2.1 million.

Projected spending for 2020-21 and 2021-22 is $47.4 million, which is the anticipated funding to be received through the Main Estimates.

Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016-17
Expenditures
2017-18
Expenditures
2018-19
Forecast spending
2019-20
Main Estimates
2019-20
Planned spending
2020-21
Planned spending
2021-22
Planned spending
Conditional Release Decisions 35,113,334 35,275,468 37,548,756 35,298,122 37,752,653 35,306,791 35,306,791
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 3,912,382 4,266,874 3,924,761 4,670,030 3,919,520 4,670,030 4,670,030
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 1,256,305 76,907 37,461 490,946 225,986 490,946 490,946
Subtotal 40,282,021 39,619,249 41,510,978 40,459,098 41,898,159 40,467,767 40,467,767
Internal Services 6,543,420 8,110,575 7,744,880 6,930,995 7,600,573 6,930,995 6,930,995
Total 46,825,441 47,729,824 49,255,858 47,390,093 49,498,732 47,398,762 47,398,762

The PBC’s forecasted increase in spending in 2018-19 and in 2019-20 compared to prior years is attributed to the estimated payment of retroactive amounts over three prior periods owed under negotiated salary adjustments.

2019–20 Budgetary planned gross spending summary (dollars)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2019-20
Planned gross spending
2019-20
Planned revenues netted against expenditures
2019-20
Planned net
spending
Conditional Release Decisions 37,752,653 0 37,752,653
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 3,919,520 0 3,919,520
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 5,870,789 (5,644,800) 225,986
Subtotal 47,542,959 (5,644,800) 41,898,159
Internal Services 7,600,573 0 7,600,573
Total 55,143,532 (5,644,800) 49,498,732

The activities under the Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations core responsibility are funded through revenues collected for record suspensions. The volume of applications received in 2018-19 and forecasted to be received in 2019-20 has remained the same.

Record suspension revenues are also impacted by the user fee. The current fee of $631 has been in place since February 2012. Government initiatives which may increase or decrease the established user fee may impact the revenues collected for this core responsibility.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016-17
Actual
2017-18
Actual
2018-19
Forecast
2019-20
Planned
2020-21
Planned
2021-22
Planned
Conditional Release Decisions 321 317 320 320 320 320
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 44 42 44 44 44 44
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 59 48 60 60 60 60
Subtotal 424 407 424 424 424 424
Internal Services 56 64 61 61 61 61
Total 480 471 485 485 485 485

Estimates by Vote

For information on the PBC’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2019-20 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the PBC’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net costs of operations to the requested authorities, can be found on the PBC’s website.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the Year Ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)

Financial information 2018-19
Forecast Results
2019-20
Planned Results
Difference
(2019-20 Planned Results minus 2018-19 Forecast Results)
Total expenses 67,120,473 67,109,212 11,260
Total revenues 5,644,800 5,644,800 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 61,475,673 61,464,413 11,260

Planned results for the 2019-20 fiscal year are expected to be comparable to 2018-19 results.

Additional information

Corporate information

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P.

Institutional Head: Jennifer Oades, Chairperson.

Ministerial Portfolio: Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Enabling Instruments: The legal authority under which the PBC operates includes the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and its Regulations, the Criminal Records Act and its Regulations, Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, the Letters Patent, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other legislation.

Year of Incorporation/Commencement: 1959.

Other: The PBC contributes to the Government of Canada’s outcome of a safe and secure Canada by making quality conditional release and record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations.

The PBC is headed by a Chairperson who reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The Minister, however, does not have statutory authority to give direction to the Chairperson or other members of the PBC in the exercise of their decision-making powers. This structure helps to ensure the impartiality and integrity of the PBC’s decision-making process.

In making conditional release, record suspension or pardon, and expungement decisions, as well as clemency recommendations, the PBC's primary objective is the protection of society. In rendering its decisions, the PBC is autonomous and independent. However, its decisions are open and transparent to the public consistent with its legislation and policies.

The protection of society is the paramount consideration in all decisions taken by the PBC. Conditional release decisions are limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to facilitate, as appropriate, the timely reintegration of offenders as law-abiding citizens. In addition, a record suspension or pardon allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.

Outcomes of the PBC’s work can be found in its annual Performance Monitoring Report (PMR). The PMR provides performance and statistical information for the past five years for the PBC’s legislative based core responsibilities: conditional release, record suspension/pardons, clemency, and expungements.

The PBC carries out its responsibilities through a national office in Ottawa, as well as six offices in five regions across the country (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie, and Pacific).

PBC Locations

PBC Locations
Text Equivalent - PBC Locations 
  • Pacific/Yukon Territory Regional Office - Abbotsford, British Columbia
  • Prairie/Northwest Territories Regional Offices - Edmonton, Alberta and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Ontario/Nunavut Regional Office - Kingston, Ontario
  • National Office - Ottawa, Ontario
  • Québec Regional Office - Montreal, Québec
  • Atlantic Regional Office - Moncton, New Brunswick

The PBC’s regional offices deliver the conditional release program. Conditional release decisions are made by Board members, who are supported in their decision-making by public service staff. Staff schedule hearings, provide information for decision-making, ensure that information for decision-making is shared with offenders, and communicate conditional release decisions to offenders, CSC representatives, and others as required. Regional staff also provide information to victims, make arrangements for observers at hearings, and manage requests for access to the PBC’s Decision Registry.

While Board members from all five regions make decisions related to record suspensions, the data collection, investigation and assessment work for record suspensions/pardons, clemency, and expungements are conducted by public service staff at the national office. In addition, Board members in the Appeal Division at the national office review conditional release decisions upon receipt of an application for appeal to determine if the law and processes were respected.

Public service employees at the national office develop national policies and procedures related to all core responsibilities, help coordinate Board member selection and training, deliver a program of public information, and respond to Access to Information (ATIP) requests. Other work performed at the national office includes strategic and operational planning, policy development, resource management, program monitoring, case reviews and investigations, and an array of internal services.

Consistent with the provisions of the Acts that govern the PBC, Board members are independent in their decision-making responsibilities, and free from outside interference of any kind. As independent decision-makers, Board members are bound by legislation, guided by policy, and are responsible for:

  • Reviewing all information for consideration in conditional release, record suspension/ pardon, clemency, and expungements cases;
  • Conducting an in-depth analysis of each case, and requesting additional information, as necessary, to support quality decision-making;
  • Assessing the risk and other factors related to cases, voting independently on the disposition of each case, and providing sound, well-documented, written reasons for decisions; and
  • Ensuring that reviews are conducted in accordance with the duty to act fairly, and with respect for all procedural safeguards.

The Chairperson of the PBC is a full-time member of the PBC and its Chief Executive Officer. The Chairperson directs the PBC’s delivery of core responsibilities in keeping with the Government of Canada’s overall plans and priorities. The Chairperson is accountable for the effectiveness and efficiency of the PBC’s policies and operations and is assisted in these responsibilities by the Executive Vice-Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson of the Appeal Division, the PBC’s five regional Vice-Chairpersons, and senior managers.

The Executive Vice-Chairperson exercises all powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Chairperson, in the event of the absence of the Chairperson or vacancy in the office of the Chairperson. The Executive Vice-Chairperson is responsible for overseeing the qualification process, training, professional conduct, performance evaluations and appointment processes for all Board Members and Vice-Chairpersons at the PBC. The Executive Vice-Chairperson is also responsible for the Appeal Division operations.

The Executive Director General of the PBC is its senior staff member and Chief Operating Officer. The Executive Director General, in support of the Chairperson, provides leadership for strategic and operational planning, resource management, program monitoring and administration, as well as the operation of the national office and the regions.

The following organizational chart provides additional details.

Note: Within the chart below the blue background denotes Governor-in-Council term appointees and the grey background signifies public service employees

Organizational Chart
Text Equivalent of Organizational Chart of the Parole Board of Canada 
  • PBC Chairperson - “Governor-in-Council term appointee”
    • Chief of Staff – “public service employee”
    • Senior Legal Counsel - “public service employee”
    • Chief Financial Officer - “public service employee”
    • Executive Director General - “public service employee”
      • Director Public Affairs and Partnerships - “public service employee”
      • Regional Directors General (5) - “public service employee”
      • Director General Policy and Operations - “public service employee”
      • Director Corporate Services - “public service employee”
      • Director Clemency and Record Suspension - “public service employee”
    • Regional Vice-Chairpersons (5)/ Vice- Chairperson Appeal Division - “Governor-in-Council term appointee”
    • Executive Vice-Chairperson - “Governor-in-Council term appointee”
      • Director Board Member Secretariat - “public service employee”

Raison d’être, mandate, and role; who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Parole Board of Canada's website.

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

Reporting Framework

The PBC’s Departmental Results Framework (DRF) and Program Inventory of record for 2019-20 are shown below:

Note: Within the chart below the blue background denotes core responsibilities and program inventory; the white background signifies departmental results, and the beige background reflects result indicators.

Reporting Framework
Text Equivalent for Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory 
Departmental Results Framework Core Responsibility: Conditional Release Decisions
Departmental Result: Conditional release decisions contribute to keeping Canadians safe. Results Indicator: The percentage of offenders on parole who are convicted of an offence prior to the end of their supervision period.
Results Indicator: The percentage of offenders on parole who are not convicted of a violent offence during their supervision period.
Results Indicator: The percentage of offenders who completed their sentences on full parole and who are not re-admitted after release because of a violent conviction (five years post-warrant expiry).
Departmental Result: Conditional release decisions adhere to the law, the PBC’s policies, and the principles of fundamental justice. Results Indicator: The percentage of decisions that are affirmed by the Appeal Division.
Core Responsibility: Conditional Release Openness and Accountability
Departmental Result: The timely exchange of relevant information with victims, offenders, observers, other components of the criminal justice system, and the general public. Results Indicator: The percentage of individuals (i.e., observers and victims) that are satisfied with the quality of the service and timeliness of the information provided.
Results Indicator: The percentage of requests for information through the Decision Registry that are responded to in a timely manner.
Core Responsibility: Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations
Departmental Result: Record suspension decisions contribute to keeping communities safe. Results Indicator: The percentage of record suspension decisions that are not revoked or cease to have effect.
Departmental Result: Record suspension decisions adhere to the law, the PBC’s policies, and the principles of fundamental justice. Results Indicator: The percentage cases that do not require a new review by panel following a Federal Court order.
Departmental Result: Record suspension and pardon applications are processed in a timely manner. Results Indicator: The percentage of record suspension or pardon applications that are processed within the established timeframes.
Departmental Result: Clemency recommendations are made as part of a fair and equitable process. Results Indicator: The percentage of clemency files submitted for Minister’s office review that are considered complete.
Core Responsibility: Internal Services
  Information will be populated automatically with all the indicators (where applicable) from the Standard on Mandatory Outcomes and Performance Indicators based on the size of the organization.
Program Inventory Conditional Release Decisions Conditional Release Openness and Accountability Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations Internal Services

Supporting Information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the PBC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the PBC’s website:

Federal Tax Expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational Contact Information

Regular mail:       Public Affairs and Partnerships Division
    410 Laurier Avenue West
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0R1
E-mail:     info@PBC-CLCC.gc.ca

Appendix - definitions

Appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.

Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.

Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

Evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.

Experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.

Full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

Government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

Horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

Non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

Performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

Performance Information Profile (profil de l’information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.

Performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

Plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

Planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates. A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

Priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.

Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s Core Responsibilities and Results.

Result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, Program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, Program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

Statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

Target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

Voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

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