Government of Canada to reduce pardon fees from $657.77 to $50

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The Government of Canada will reduce the pardon fees from $657.77 to $50 with effect from 1st of January, 2022.

“By lowering the high cost of applying for a record suspension, we are removing a barrier to the successful reintegration of people with criminal records who have completed their sentences and are living law-abiding lives,” said Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Safety.

Mendicino further added “This is yet another measure the Government of Canada is putting in place to make our criminal justice system more fair and effective, and our communities a safer place for all.”

The significantly lower fee will improve access to record suspensions, especially for people with lower incomes. Obtaining a record suspension helps to remove the stigma of a criminal record so that people can access housing, employment, education and volunteer opportunities, which are key to their safe and successful reintegration as productive members of society, the Public Safety Canada said in a statement.

“In this way, record suspensions improve public safety through reduced re-offending and victimization,” the statement added.

In addition, as announced on June 10, 2021, the Government will invest in program modernization for the Parole Board of Canada, including with the development of a new online portal to make the application process simpler and quicker.

The Government will also provide $22.2 million over 5 years to community-based organizations to offer support services to help people complete record suspension applications and increase awareness of these support services.

This will help ensure people who apply for record suspensions have access to the right information about the record suspension process and reduce reliance on third-party, for-profit companies that charge high fees, the Public Safety Canada added.

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