ARCHIVED - Harper Government Continuing to Hold Criminals Accountable

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Minister Toews announces consultations to increase pardon application fee

Ottawa, February 2,  2011 — Today, the Harper Government took another step towards ensuring that criminals are held fully accountable for their crimes with a new proposal  to increase the fee charged when applying for a pardon. The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the proposed new application fee would require individuals to pay $631 for the costof processing their pardon application, an increase from the current fee of $150.

“Canadians are right to expect that convicted criminals be held fully accountable for their crimes,” said Minister Toews. “That's why our Government is proposing that criminals pay for the administrative costs of applying for pardons,”

The proposed increase is a necessary adjustment that will respond to inflation, workload increases, and processing costs required to process a pardon application following the recent amendments to the Criminal Records Act.  As a first step, the government increased the administrative fee for convicted criminals to apply for a pardon from $50 to $150 in December 2010.  This was the first time the pardon user fee was increased since its introduction more than 15 years ago.

“There are numerous examples of law-abiding Canadians being required to pay administrative application fees and it is wrong that criminals are being subsidized in this manner,” continued Minister Toews. “Increasing the user fee will contribute to the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of the Parole Board of Canada's pardons program, which is not sustainable at the current cost,  and ensure it is able to continue to meet its mandate.”

Minister Toews has asked the Parole Board of Canada to begin consultations on the increase within the next few weeks, as required under the User Fees Act.

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