Update on the pardons backlog

As of November 30, 2016, there are no unassigned pardon files remaining in the pardons’ backlog, meaning, all files are at the investigation stage. 

The Parole Board of Canada remains on target for clearing the backlog of pardon files by March 31, 2017. 

Why is there a backlog of pardon applications?

The backlog developed as a result of amendments to the Criminal Records Act (CRA) in . These changes to the CRA significantly increased the complexity and amount of work required by the PBC to process a pardon application.

The user fee in place at that time, which was already unsustainable, did not cover the additional costs needed to process a pardon under these amendments. As a result, a backlog of pardon applications developed.

Why hasn't the backlog of pardon applications been cleared yet?

The PBC has taken significant steps to address the backlog. The Board has reduced the backlog from a total of 22,320 to approximately 1,462 and continues to process these remaining applications.

Why are record suspensions being processed ahead of pardons?

Unlike pardon applications, record suspension applications operate under a full-cost recovery model ($631 user fee).

Under the User Fees Act, these applications must by law be processed according to specific service standards.

  • Up to 6 months for a summary offence;
  • Up to 12 months for an indictable offence;
  • Up to 24 months where the Board proposes to refuse.
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