ARCHIVED - Minister of Public Safety Delivers on Promise to Increase Pardon Fees

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Ottawa, February 8, 2012 — Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, signed an order to increase the application fee to process a pardon application. The fee increase from $150 to $631, which will take effect on February 23rd, 2012, is part of the Government of Canada's efforts to ensure the sustainability of the Parole Board of Canada's pardons program. 

“Increasing the user fee contributes to the long-term sustainability of the Parole Board of Canada's pardons program, which cannot be maintained at the current cost,” said Minister Toews. “Currently, taxpayers bear the brunt of the cost for criminals requesting pardons. This is unacceptable.  Pardons are not a right.  That is why we are proposing that persons convicted of criminal offences pay their own way when applying for a pardon.”

The proposed $631 fee is based on an extensive costing exercise conducted by the Parole Board of Canada.  The fee increase responds to workload increases and processing costs, and aims to make the system more efficient and sustainable moving forward. As a first step, the government increased the administrative fee 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.

“The new fee will ensure the pardons program can continue to help individuals reintegrate into the community when they have demonstrated they have rehabilitated,” said Minister Toews.

The Parole Board of Canada undertook public consultations on the proposed new user fee in February 2011, as required by the User Fees Act.

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