Vancouver, British Columbia (PRWEB) June 07, 2012
Last week Pardon Services Canada (PSC) sent a letter to the Hon. Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, expressing concern about the substantial backlog of pending applications for record suspensions. Recent amendments to the Criminal Records Act of Canada, including a substantial increase in the cost for a record suspension and stricter eligibility criteria, have affected the business of PSC, which is the industry pioneer in pardon-related services. While the industry will adapt to these changes, PSC President and CEO Azmairnin Jadavji is concerned about how the changes will impact his clients’ lawful rights under the CRA.
“It has come to our attention that Parole Board of Canada staff are now processing all applications submitted under the new fee structure ahead of those filed under the old law. As a result, applications based on the previous fee structure are being treated as a lower priority, which to our knowledge, is a distinction that is not mandated by the CRA," says Jadavji.
“Prioritizing applications filed under the new law creates a two-tiered system which unfairly penalizes applicants who complied with the old law. Administrative tribunals such as the Parole Board are required to follow principles of principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. Unreasonable delay in processing applications is contrary to those principles.”
The letter asked Minister Toews to respond to this matter by developing a service standard for applications filed under the old law that is comparable to that for new applications. According to PSC’s own databases, clients who filed their applications prior to the legislative changes in March have been waiting as long as 18 months to have their case reviewed by the Parole Board, while some clients who paid the higher fee have received a response in as little as two months.
Pardon Services Canada is an industry leader in the business of helping Canadians overcome the obstacles of a criminal record. Since 1989, PSC has successfully assisted over 100,000 Canadians exercise their lawful rights under the Criminal Records Act of Canada and the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States.