Important notice for pardon applicants in the backlog
(applications submitted before February 22, 2012)

All pardon applications for summary offences in the backlog have been processed. The PBC is working to clear all remaining applications in the backlog by March 31, 2017.*

The PBC is currently processing remaining applications as follows:

Type of offence Applications being processed at this time
Indictable (regular) Accepted up to January 28, 2012
Indictable (serious personal injury/sexual offence) Accepted up to January 24, 2012

Note: While remaining pardon applications in the backlog continue to be processed in the order of the date they were accepted as complete, as a further operational measure to expedite processing, some applications requiring less investigations may be reviewed ahead of others (e.g., applicants with only one conviction, historical nature of the offence).


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 from a total of 22,320 to approximately 3,300 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.

* (does not include pardon applications for offences where the Board has processed the applications, but is proposing to refuse to grant a pardon).