Changes to Canadian Pardons

Clarification on Bill C-23A

There is some confusion going around about Bill C-23. It was split into two parts, and because the second part, C-23B, has been the most debated, people associate C-23A, which received Royal Assent on 29 Jun 2010, with the changes proposed by C-23B, which has not yet been made law.

Bill C-23A only covers certain aspects of the full bill, while C-23B covers the bulk of the changes. Part A, which has been made law, covers the following:

1.    Lengthens pardon waiting periods from 3 years to 5 years and from 5 years to 10 years for certain crimes.

2.    Puts the onus on the applicant for proving that a pardon would bring them measurable benefit.

3.    Gives the Parole Board of Canada more discretion for granting pardon applications.

Bill C-23B will bring a few more changes, but for now, these are the basic changes that have already taken place. C-23B is scheduled for its third reading on March 24th and will undergo clause by clause consideration in April. For more information on these changes, please visit: The Pardon & Waiver Wiki and Blog pages should be very  useful if you need to understand the Pardon and Waiver process in Canada.