Strong Opposition Hasn’t Deterred Pardon Application Fee Increase

It’s important to note that Canadians who seek pardons, most typically to find employment, are low-risk offenders with minor charges. The Parole Board of Canada’s own statistics show that only 4% of those who receive pardons go on to re-offend. Despite this fact, the Canadian Government has increased the Parole Board of Canada’s pardon application fee from $150 to $631 – a 320% jump. Increasing the application fee does nothing to help these people reintegrate into Canadian society.

Despite strong opposition voiced during a government-mandated public consultation process last year, the Conservative Government decided to push through this counter-productive rate hike, effective February 23, 2012.

Pardon Services Canada is of the opinion that this increase is unfair and burdensome and does not represent the views of the majority of Canadians who believe strongly in giving people a second chance. A study commissioned by the Parole Board of Canada last year projects that the fee increase will result in a 40% decrease in pardon applications.

Pardon applications that were submitted to the Parole Board of Canada on or before February 22 were processed at the former rate of $150. Pardon Services Canada was doing everything possible to submit applications prior to that deadline to save the costs for as many clients as possible. We have also introduced an option enabling clients to finance their application fees into monthly payments to help diffuse the impact of this decision.

Pardon Services Canada is the oldest Canadian company offering professional support to individuals in obtaining pardons and serves as an advocate for Canadians to exercise their lawful rights under the Criminal Records Act of Canada (CRA) and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of the United States. Since 1989 the company has successfully assisted over 100,000 Canadians to overcome the obstacles of a criminal record and live a record-free life.

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