The Parole Board of Canada has historically been unimpressed by the private pardon services. What I mean by that is the Parole Board of Canada has routinely made disparaging comments about private pardon services by claiming that these services are unnecessary and that we cannot offer an “expedite service” because all files are treated the same. Putting aside the fact that pardon services are in fact necessary (I have commented on this before in my blog and in the news so anyone interested can click the link at the bottom to read a bit more) let’s take a look at the obvious hypocrisy concerning the second issue, the expedited service.
At the National Pardon Centre we have never claimed to have special tricks or special connections to get things done faster than the next person. When we offer an expedited service it is for clients who are currently eligible and who want to make sure we do everything possible to get the file done ASAP. On the other hand if you are not eligible, or you are not in a rush, you pay the standard fee, you save some money, and we have the luxury of taking a little longer to get it done. This helps manage the workload in our offices. We’ve been criticized repeatedly for this practice even though it is fairly standard for many service industries.
Now let’s take a look at what the Parole Board of Canada is doing as a result of legislative changes imposed by the Conservative government. The Parole Board has now confirmed that clients who paid the smaller application fee of $150 will have to wait indefinitely to receive their pardon, while those who paid the increased fee of $631 will be guaranteed shorter, more reasonable time frames and their record suspension pardon will be granted in good time.
This is frustrating news for someone who has been in this business as long as I have. It is also contrary to the principles of judicial fairness.