Important notice for pardon applicants in the backlog
(applications submitted between July 2010 and February 22, 2012)

The PBC is processing pardon applications in the backlog.

The Board anticipates having all summary offence applications in the backlog completed by March 31st, 2015.

Applications for indictable offences will be processed following the completion of applications for summary offences in the backlog, as resources permit.

Why has the Parole Board of Canada taken this action?

The PBC has taken the decision to focus on applications for summary offences at this time to allow it to process the backlog as quickly as possible while also ensuring that it can continue to meet its legislated responsibilities in other areas. The Board anticipates having all summary offence applications in the backlog completed by March 31st, 2015.

NOTICE: all pardon applications will be processed as they move through the queue; no application is removed from the queue until it has been assessed and processed. Any information to the contrary is incorrect.  Be aware of third-party companies and the risk of fraud

Why is there a backlog of pardon applications?

The backlog developed as a result of amendments to the Criminal Records Act (CRA) in June 2010. 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 by almost 64% − from a total of 22,320 to approximately 6,361. The Board expects to have close to 70% of the backlog cleared by March 31, 2015.

Why are record suspensions being processed ahead of pardons?

Record suspensions 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.

Can an applicant in the backlog withdraw their application and re-apply for a record suspension?

A pardon applicant may withdraw his or her application at any time and for any reason.

Pardon applicants should first check that they qualify for a record suspension under the current Criminal Records Act before withdrawing their pardon application, as the eligibility requirements have changed.

Because work to process pardon applications in the backlog has already been completed up to the investigation stage, no refund can be given for those who decide to withdraw their application.

NOTE: If an applicant chooses to withdraw their pardon application and re-apply for a record suspension, the Board will transfer their pardon application to the record-suspension program. To withdraw a pardon application and re-apply for a record suspension, the Board must receive:

  1. A signed letter from the applicant stating they wish to discontinue their pardon application, that they acknowledge that they will not be refunded the $150 pardon fee, and that they will submit an application for a record suspension.
  2. A completed and signed Record Suspension Application form.
  3. A new completed Local Police Records Check (LPRC): all other documents remain valid and do NOT need to be re-submitted. Go here to access a copy of the LPRC form.
  4. Payment of the $631 Record Suspension fee.

Applicants should consult the Record Suspension Application Guide to find out more about record suspensions, including how to apply, as well as approved methods of payment.