2021-22 Parole Board of Canada Departmental Plan

About this publication

Publication author: Parole Board of Canada
ISSN 2371-6436

From the Chairperson

As Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), I am pleased to present the 2021-22 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 facilitating, as appropriate, the timely reintegration of offenders and the sustained rehabilitation of individuals into society as law-abiding citizens. The Board makes independent, quality conditional release, record suspension and expungement decisions, as well as clemency recommendations, in a transparent and accountable manner, while respecting diversity and the rights of offenders and victims, in accordance with its statutory responsibilities and authorities.

In addition to delivering its mandate, the Board will continue to pursue efforts to strengthen its responsiveness to specific groups, including women offenders, lifers, Indigenous Peoples, racialized and vulnerable groups. The PBC will continue to innovate and maintain strong partnerships, both nationally and internationally, with criminal justice partners and victims.

To assist the PBC in successfully delivering its core responsibilities, the Board will maintain its focus on cultivating a people management approach to foster diversity and inclusiveness, and to promote a healthy, respectful and productive workplace. This is particularly important, as the PBC’s workplace has gone through a number of changes in response to COVID-19.

In particular, the pandemic highlighted the importance of a dependable and reliable information technology structure in order to provide continuing services to Canadians. It is crucial that the PBC continues to update and maintain its Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) strategy to ensure it meets changing requirements.

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 and efficiency. I invite you to read this report to learn more about PBC’s plans and priorities for 2021-22.

 

______________________________

Jennifer Oades
Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada

Plans at a glance

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is an agency within the Public Safety Portfolio.

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
  • RCMP External Review Committee
  • Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
  • Office of the Correctional Investigator

The PBC is an independent administrative tribunal that, as part of the Canadian criminal justice system, makes independent, quality conditional release, record suspension and expungement decisions, as well as clemency recommendations, in a transparent and accountable manner, while respecting diversity and the rights of offenders and victims. 

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

For 2021-22, the PBC identified five corporate priorities. The priorities and highlights of planned activities contributing to each are outlined below. 

A. Corporate Priority: The PBC will enhance Board member, staff, and organizational capacity in the application of legislative requirements by: 

B. Corporate Priority: The PBC will cultivate a people management approach that fosters diversity and inclusiveness and promotes a healthy, respectful and productive workplace by: 

C. Corporate Priority: The PBC will create an IM/IT strategy that meets the PBC’s evolving requirements by: 

D. Corporate Priority: The PBC will strengthen responsiveness to the needs of specific populations such as Indigenous Peoples and other groups by: 

E. Corporate Priority: The PBC will innovate the delivery of outreach activities to inform partners, victims, applicants, offenders, and Canadians on the work of the PBC by: 

For more information on the PBC’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

This section contains detailed information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.

Conditional Release Decisions

Conditional release is based on the principle that community safety is enhanced by the timely and gradual release of offenders to the community under supervision. 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 a release process. Through this core responsibility, the Parole Board of Canada staff (PBC) 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. For the coming year, 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 2021-22, the PBC expects to render approximately 22,000 Board member decisions for federal and provincial/territorial offenders.

It is essential that all conditional release decisions adhere to the law and principles of fundamental justice. In 2020-21, the PBC launched a review of its decision-making policies, to ensure that legal provisions are clearly reflected and to enhance the accessibility of essential information and guidance. The review is focused on ensuring that PBC policy reflects the Board members’ authority, discretion, and procedural fairness. The review is scheduled to conclude in 2021-22.

The PBC will continue to support Board member capacity and training over the next year to ensure that quality conditional release decisions are rendered. The PBC supports the government’s approach to openness, accountability and transparency, and will continue to work with the Privy Council Office (PCO) to complete successful Board member qualification processes. To optimise high-quality decision-making, Board members must access relevant and timely training. As in-person training activities have been temporarily suspended in light of the pandemic, various virtual learning events have become available to Board members. Upon appointment, Board members now participate in a blend of in-office and virtual Board Member Orientation training. In 2021-22, the Annual Training on Risk Assessment will also be delivered virtually through a series of moderated plenary sessions. This highly anticipated training focuses specifically on risk assessment skills, decision writing, hearing management and research.

The PBC, in partnership with CSC, began a review in 2020-21 of diversity and systemic racism. The joint PBC and CSC Committee examined existing reports and recommendations relevant to addressing the unique needs of racialized offenders and aimed at increasing the diversity and inclusion of employees. In 2021-22, the PBC will conduct national and regional consultations with internal and external advisory groups and organizations to validate findings and recommendations. The results of the consultations will inform joint outreach and research initiatives with the CSC as well as the development of PBC policy, procedural, training, and staffing enhancements over the following two fiscal years.

In 2021-22, the PBC will continue to strive to further improve initiatives that aim to make the parole process more responsive and adaptive to the needs of women offenders and Indigenous Peoples. The PBC will implement the management action plan for Inclusive Parole: Responding to Women Offenders Needs following a recent internal review of the parole process for women. Planned activities include enhancing Board member training sessions and products to expand Board members’ expertise to work with women in a gender and trauma-informed manner, modifying hearing practices, and outreach to women offenders.

In response to COVID-19 travel restrictions and limited access to CSC institutions, PBC hearings are primarily conducted by videoconference, or by teleconference where videoconferencing is not possible. However, the PBC and CSC have jointly developed risk management frameworks for the gradual resumption of certain in-person hearings, adapted to regional circumstances and respecting public health restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, the PBC has consistently ensured that reviews continue to be completed, and that the PBC’s public safety mandate is fulfilled. It is anticipated that in 2021-22, the number of reviews will be consistent with the previous fiscal year.

DIVERSITY IN DECISION-MAKING
  • The PBC will develop and implement an action plan to examine issues of diversity in respect of offender and employee experience, and the larger criminal justice system.

Key risks

While the PBC has significant mitigation strategies in place, quality decision-making remains one of the PBC’s key risks. Sub-risks include:

  • Maintaining national consistency (i.e., process, support, and evidence-based decisions);
  • Ensuring that hearings take place in-person or virtually to confirm conditional release decisions are processed within the established timeframes;
  • Enhancing Board member competencies, qualifications, and consistent training; and
  • Responding to the complex and diverse profiles of the offender population (recognizing that PBC does not influence the rates of incarceration of offender groups).

Consistent with the provisions of the Acts that govern the PBC, the uniform application of decision-making across such a large geographical area is paramount. Comprehensive training is the foundation for quality decision-making. Therefore the PBC will ensure core training and tools are up-to-date and made available in a timely manner for Board members and staff.

In addition, standardized support and processes are equally important, especially with the implementation and use of electronic files, as Board members can now complete reviews more efficiently.

Planned results for Conditional Release Decisions

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2017-18
Actual results
2018-19
Actual results
2019-20
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, 2022 99% 99% 99%
The percentage of offenders on parole who are not convicted of a violent offence during their supervision period. ≥98% March 31, 2022 100% 99% 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, 2022 99% 99% 99%
The percentage of post-suspension and detention decisions that are processed within the legislated timeframes without loss of jurisdiction. ≥98% March 31, 2022 100% 100% 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. ≥85% March 31, 2022 77% 78% 79%

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

Planned budgetary financial resources for Conditional Release Decisions

2021-22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
2023-24
planned spending
39,224,460 39,224,460 36,029,460 36,029,460

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

Planned human resources for Conditional Release Decisions

2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
2023-24
Planned full-time equivalents
328 315 315

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 (CCRA). 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 incidents in the community (i.e., when a new offence(s) occurs), monitoring the PBC's performance and reporting on conditional release results.

Planning highlights

In 2021-22, the PBC anticipates delivering virtual/remote outreach to target groups through online videoconference technology to build on more traditional face-to-face outreach and broaden our potential reach with both established and new target audiences. The PBC also plans on delivering quarterly outreach sessions targeted to women offenders at women’s institutions, contingent on the COVID-19 situation. 

The PBC will continue to focus on community outreach and engagement, as it forges different partnerships and creates new community networks through the PBC Outreach Strategy, in consultation with regional offices. 

The use of social media to increase awareness of the PBC will also continue to be a focus. Increased presence in public communications remains an important part of creating openness and accountability and is a priority for the PBC. Additionally, working with CSC, through various working groups, remains an important component to effectively deliver core responsibilities. 

The PBC recognizes the integral role that victims play in the conditional release process, and remain committed to respecting and protecting their rights under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. Moreover, to facilitate the participation of observers, media, and victims who have requested to attend hearings, the PBC has put in place a technological solution allowing for participating remotely by videoconference. This approach is planned to continue throughout 2021-22 until institutions allow for full in-person attendance, at which time remote hearing participation will be re-examined. 

In response to COVID-19 and in an effort to protect the health and safety of Board members, staff, offenders, and the general public, in-person hearings have been limited to Elder-Assisted Hearings (EAHs), as well as in cases where the offender has difficulties (i.e., cognitive, mental health, physical or other) that may prevent them from communicating effectively by way of a remote hearing, or where an in-person hearing may be required for hearing management purposes. However, conducting in-person hearings will be at the discretion of the region, and informed by public health advice and the status of COVID-19 risk in institutions. 

It is expected that in 2021-22, the number of in-person EAHs will decrease relative to the previous fiscal year, and this trend will continue until such a time as institution restrictions are fully lifted. Elders are a highly vulnerable group and Indigenous communities as a whole are also higher risk and disproportionately impacted. Given the requirements of social distancing, and public health advice, Community Assisted Hearings (CAHs) have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is expected to continue until the volume of active COVID-19 cases and rate of community transmission allows for the safe resumption of CAHs.

WAIVER, POSTPONEMENT, AND WITHDRAWALS
  • In 2021-22, a focus will be placed on specific offender populations including Indigenous and Black offenders on waivers, postponements and withdrawals.

Key risks

There is a risk that the exchange of relevant information with victims, offenders, observers, other components of the criminal justice system, and the general public is not timely.

The PBC has a legislative responsibility to provide information to victims and facilitate their participation in the parole process.

The PBC ensures that victims’ rights under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights; and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act are respected, and it takes a collaborative approach to ensure that improvements are made in the services provided to victims, such as broader community representation through its PBC Committee on victims to ensure that victim issues are considered.

Ensure a videoconferencing solution that can meet PBC’s evolving needs in relation to remote hearings, accommodating diverse stakeholders and respecting privacy needs.

Planned results for Conditional Release Openness and Accountability

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2017-18
actual result
2018-19
actual result
2019-20
actual result
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. Footnote 1 ≥80% PBC questionnaire conducted in 2016-17.
The next questionnaire is planned for 2022-23.
92% 92% 92%
The percentage of requests for information through the Decision Registry that are responded to in a timely manner. ≥80% March 31, 2022 96% 96% 99%

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

Planned budgetary financial resources for Conditional Release Openness and Accountability

2021-22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
2023-24
planned spending
4,653,067 4,653,067 4,653,067 4,653,067

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

Planned human resources for Conditional Release Openness and Accountability

2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
2023-24
Planned full-time equivalents
46 46 46

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

Record Suspension Decisions and Expungement 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 convicted of an offence under an Act of Parliament, who have completed their sentence, having met criteria in the Criminal Records Act (CRA) 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. In addition, under the Expungement Act the PBC will order the expungement of records of convictions for eligible offences that would be lawful today. Persons convicted of an offence listed in the schedule to the Expungement Act may apply, as well as authorized representatives in cases where the person is deceased. The main difference between a record suspension and an expungement is that with a record suspension, the criminal record is held ‘separate and apart’ from other criminal records, while an expungement will destroy the record. 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.

Planning highlights

The PBC will effectively administer this core responsibility by assessing and processing all applications for record suspensions/pardons/ expungements within the established service standards while applying the annual Consumer Price Index adjustment to the application fee, 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 to facilitate processing and investigations.

In March 2020, the Federal Court declared the transitional provisions of amendments to section 4 of the CRA, namely, section 10 of the Limiting Pardons of Serious Crimes Act and section 161 of the Safe Streets and Communities Act, unconstitutional. The Court concluded that these provisions infringed on subsections 11(h) and 11(i) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because they added to the punishment imposed at sentencing and deprived applicants of the benefit of the lesser punishment available at the time the offence was committed.

As a result of this decision, the PBC no longer retrospectively applies legislative amendments made to the CRA in 2010 and 2012 (as it relates to eligibility periods and criteria) for all record suspension applicants who committed their most recent offence prior to the coming into force of these changes.

In 2021-22, the PBC will continue to administer the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act as well as process cannabis record suspension applications that are submitted under the amendments made to the CRA as a result of Bill C-93, an Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis, which came into force in August 2019. These additional workload increases and changes may create pressures and challenges for the PBC and its record suspension/pardon program.

In addition to the above, it is estimated that the PBC will receive approximately 45 requests for clemency during 2021-22. An internal review of the Clemency Program is underway and will be finalized in 2021. There will be a focus on enhancing program operations through the implementation of recommendations from this review.

RECORD SUSPENSION / PARDON APPLICATIONS
  • In 2021-22, it is estimated that the PBC will receive approximately 10,000 record suspension/pardon applications and accept approximately 7,500 for processing.
  • Since 2009-10, applications received for record suspensions/ pardons have decreased by over 50%. Several factors contributed to this decline such as, longer waiting periods, inadmissibility of certain classes of offences and increase in application fees.

Key risks

Processing applications within legislative timeframes remains one of the PBC’s key risks under this core responsibility. Moreover, the PBC now operates four legislative schemes, including one for cannabis record suspensions, which significantly increases program complexity, and puts the integrity of the program at risk. Furthermore, the current case management system implemented in 2000 has been modified a number of times to incorporate legislative and process changes. The system is not able to interface with any online application portal and the program is actively reviewing ways to modernize its application process and system interoperability with partners. In addition, it is essential that all record suspension or pardon decisions and expungement decisions adhere to the law and principles of fundamental justice.

Thorough training is the foundation for decision-making, as such, the PBC will ensure core training and tools are up-to-date and made available in a timely manner for Board members and staff. Further, over the course of the past year, elements of the record suspension program have been reviewed by Parliamentary Committees through the study of Bill C-93 and the study of M-161 (Record Suspension Program). This review has raised concerns about the accessibility and costs of record suspensions and the complexity of the process, noting a need to modernize the current program framework. Observations made by these Committees encourage simplifying and modernizing current processes while improving client service to marginalized and vulnerable groups. The PBC is continuously examining ways to improve service delivery for record suspension applicants. The recent Speech from the Throne has also included the need to reform the record suspension program.

Planned results for Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations

Departmental Results Departmental Results Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2017-18
actual result
2018-19
actual result
2019-20
actual result
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% Annual 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 2 ≥95% Annual 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. ≥95% Annual 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% Annual 100% 100% 100%

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

Planned budgetary financial resources for Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations

2021-22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
2023-24
planned spending
478,152 2,410,452 2,327,952 2,245,452

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

Planned human resources for Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations

2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
2023-24
Planned full-time equivalents
62 58 58

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

Internal Services: planned results

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

Planning highlights

A people management approach that fosters diversity and inclusiveness while promoting a healthy, respectful and productive workplace remains one of the PBC’s corporate priorities in 2021-22. The PBC aims to be an employer of choice, and continues to implement policies and procedures to improve Board members’ and employees’ mental health and well-being, through new technologies and working environments (e.g., remote work resources, LifeSpeak). Furthermore, the PBC will ensure that harassment and discrimination are addressed according to policies in place.

The PBC is committed to the health and safety of its employees, including in response to the unprecedented situation caused by COVID-19. In 2021-22, Ombuds Services will be available to Board members and staff, to provide them with a professional, confidential, neutral, impartial and safe environment to have informal conversations about and explore options for resolving workplace issues. The PBC is also committed to ensuring that Board members and employees have the necessary tools to work remotely while working on the PBC’s Future of the Workplace initiative.

As part of its commitment to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and prevent and address harassment and discrimination, the PBC will continue to work to increase the diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups, and efforts to eliminate harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace.

To help encourage career development for PBC employees and promote their well-being, in 2021-22, the PBC plans on developing, implementing and communicating a Talent Management Framework, consolidating regional and national approaches to recruitment, retention and employee development, while applying specific lenses to cadres of employees, supervisors, managers, and executives.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT RENEWAL
  • In 2021-22, GCdocs will be implemented as the official electronic document and records management system, including the delivery of training sessions to all PBC regions and divisions.

Key risks

The key risks associated with this core responsibility include:

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services

2021-22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
2023-24
planned spending
11,015,044 11,015,044 10,654,588 10,654,588

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

Planned human resources for Internal Services

2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
2023-24
Planned full-time equivalents
70 66 66

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

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department’s planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years, and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2018-19 to 2023-24

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.

Text equivalent - Departmental Spending Trend Graph
  2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Statutory 5,700,255 6,150,981 7,115,327 6,047,000 5,6781,875 5,678,875
Voted 44,054,015 45,337,810 52,744,243 51,256,023 47,986,192 47,903,692
Total 49,754,270 51,488,791 59,859,570 57,303,023 53,665,067 53,582,567

In 2021-22, the PBC plans to spend $57.3 million in parliamentary authorities to meet the expected results of its core responsibilities, which includes:

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

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for each of the PBC’s core responsibilities and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2018-19
expenditures
2019-20
expenditures
2020-21
forecast spending
2021-22 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
2023-24
planned spending
Conditional Release Decisions 36,915,792 37,068,405 40,148,432 39,224,460 39,224,460 36,029,460 36,029,460
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 4,180,055 3,967,641 4,048,917 4,653,067 4,653,067 4,653,067 4,653,067
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 801,153 2,349,235 3,511,960 478,152 2,410,452 2,327,952 2,245,452
Subtotal 41,897,000 43,385,281 47,709,309 44,355,679 46,287,979 43,010,479 42,927,979
Internal Services 7,857,270 8,103,510 12,150,261 11,015,044 11,015,044 10,654,588 10,654,588
Total 49,754,270 51,488,791 59,859,570 55,370,723 57,303,023 53,665,067 53,582,567

PBC’s total authorities for 2020-21 and 2021–22 have increased considerably. The increase in funding is attributable to:

2021-22 Budgetary planned gross spending summary (dollars)

The following table reconciles gross planned spending with net planned for 2021-22.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2021-22
Planned gross spending
2021-22
planned revenues
netted against expenditures
2021-22
planned net spending
Conditional Release Decisions 39,224,460 0 39,224,460
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 4,653,067 0 4,653,067
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 6,122,952 (3,712,500) 2,410,452
Subtotal 50,000,479 (3,712,500) 46,287,979
Internal Services 11,015,044 0 11,015,044
Total 61,015,523 (3,712,500) 57,303,023

The PBC’s record suspension core responsibility is funded through a full cost recovery user fee model. The revenue generated is based on the number of accepted applications (i.e., those applications that are eligible and complete). The deficit in program revenue is a result of decreasing volumes of applications, in large part due to the pandemic. In 2021-22, it is estimated that the PBC will receive approximately 10,000 record suspension/pardon applications and accept approximately 7,500 for processing as opposed to recent years, which have averaged around 9,600 accepted applications in the past 5 years.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in the PBC’s departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2018-19
Actual FTEs
2019-20
Actual FTEs
2020-21
Forecast  FTEs
2021-22
Planned FTEs
2022-23
Planned FTEs
2023-24
Planned FTEs
Conditional Release Decisions 316 320 328 328 315 315
Conditional Release Openness and Accountability 43 45 46 46 46 46
Record Suspension Decisions/Clemency Recommendations 58 72 64 62 58 58
Subtotal 417 437 438 436 419 419
Internal Services 64 62 70 70 66 66
Total 481 499 508 506 485 485

Estimates by Vote

Information on the PBC’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2021-22 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The condensed future‑oriented statement of operations provides an overview of the PBC’s operations for 2020-21 to 2021-22.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future‑oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the PBC’s website.

Condensed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations for the Year Ended March 31, 2022 (dollars)

Financial information 2020-21
Forecast Results
2021-22
Planned Results
Difference
(2021-22 Planned Results minus 2020-21 Forecast Results)
Total expenses 66,866,287 63,924,951 (2,941,336)
Total revenues 2,662,805 3,735,000 1,072,195
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 64,203,482 60,189,951 (4,013,531)

Planned results for the 2021-22 fiscal year are expected to be lower than 2020-21 forecast. The majority of the decrease is resulting from negotiated salary adjustments with retroactive payments paid out in 2020-21; coupled with no anticipated carry-forward of lapsed funds from 2020-21. The decrease is also offset by an anticipated increase in revenue.

Corporate information

Organizational Profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable William Sterling Blair, P.C., C.O.M., M.P.

Institutional head: Jennifer Oades, Chairperson.

Ministerial portfolio: Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Enabling instrument: 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, the Letters Patent, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other legislation.

Year of incorporation commencement: 1959.

Other: The PBC constantly strives to contribute to the Government of Canada’s outcome of a safe and secure Canada. The PBC contributes to this outcome by making timely conditional release, record suspension, and expungement 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 Board 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 decisions, as well as clemency recommendations, the PBC’s primary objective is the long-term 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. The PBC contributes to the protection of society by facilitating, as appropriate the timely reintegration of offenders into society as law-abiding citizens. In addition, a record suspension or pardon allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but who 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.

The PBC also has legislative responsibility to order or refuse to order the expungement of records of convictions for eligible offences that would be lawful today under the Expungement Act.

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 two legislative based core responsibilities: conditional release, and record suspension and clemency.

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
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, review file 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 and the national office make decisions related to record suspensions, the data collection, investigation and assessment work for record suspensions and clemency 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 and Privacy (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:

The Chairperson of the PBC is a full-time Board 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 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, policy development, 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.

Text Equivalent of Organizational Chart of the Parole Board of Canada
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 PBC’s website.

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

Operating Context

Information on the operating context is available on the PBC's website.

Reporting Framework

The PBC’s approved Departmental Results Framework (DRF) and Program Inventory for 2021-22 are as follows:

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.

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 not 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).
Results Indicator: The percentage of post-suspension and detention decisions that are processed within legislated timeframes without loss of jurisdiction .
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 and pardon decisions contribute to keeping Canadians safe. Results Indicator: The percentage of record suspension or pardon decisions that are not revoked or cease to have effect.
Departmental Result: Record suspension and pardon 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 a 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 the Minister’s consideration 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

Changes to the approved reporting framework since 2020-21:

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 PBC’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2021-22.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government-wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely 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

Telephone:     (613) 954-7474
E-mail:             info@PBC-CLCC.gc.ca
Website(s):     canada.ca/parole

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 a department over a 3‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

Departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. 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)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.

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

Experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

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 assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.

Government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2020-21 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 in which two or more federal organizations 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 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.

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.

Strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

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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