Vol. 145, No. 26 — December 21, 2011
SI/2011-108 December 21, 2011
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE AND ANOTHER ACT
Order Fixing December 2, 2011 as the Day on which the Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2011-1384 November 29, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to section 8 of An Act to amend the Criminal Code and another Act, chapter 2 of the Statutes of Canada, 2011, hereby fixes December 2, 2011 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Order fixes December 2, 2011, as the date of coming into force of former Bill S-6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and another Act (“the Act”), which received Royal Assent on March 23, 2011.
The Criminal Code “Faint Hope” provisions, up until now, have allowed convicted murderers after having served 15 years to apply for a reduction in the parole ineligibility period imposed at the time of sentencing. The Act amends the Criminal Code to eliminate entirely the right to apply for Faint Hope consideration for those who commit murder after the coming into force of the Act. The Act also changes the application procedure for those offenders with the continuing right to apply for “Faint Hope.” The Act raises the threshold test from a “reasonable prospect of success” to a “substantial likelihood of success”; imposes a new 90-day application window upon becoming eligible to apply or to re-apply; and increases the minimum waiting period for rejected applications from two to five years.
The most recent data from the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) indicate that, as of 2009, fewer than 300 offenders applied for Faint Hope review since its inception in 1976 and that only 143 succeeded in becoming eligible to apply to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for early parole. Given the relatively low numbers of applicants and the fact that the new provisions eliminating access to Faint Hope review do not apply to persons already convicted, the effects of the complete elimination of Faint Hope applications will not be felt by CSC or PBC for 25 years. It is not anticipated that the Act will have a significant impact on CSC, PBC or the Office of the Correctional Investigator, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Act will not have any effect on provincial or territorial governments as the effect of these Criminal Code amendments is restricted to the federal inmate population.