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The National Parole Board became involved as a partner in the ongoing implementation of Firearms legislation in 1999-2000. Introduction of the Firearms legislation and related changes to the Criminal Code created longer sentences for offences involving the use of a firearm or an imitation firearm. Longer sentences generate the need for more conditional release reviews which, in turn, increase NPB’s program delivery costs (salary and non-salary).
As a result, the Board received a permanent increase to its funding base. The increase was incremental, rising from $437,000 in 1999-2000 to $858,000 per year in 2004-2005 and future years, consistent with projected workload growth. Workload data indicate that the Board now carries-out 1,400 to 2,000 reviews annually for offenders with firearms convictions. The estimated total cost for these reviews averages $1.6 million, of which $858,000 is covered by funding provided specifically as a result of changes in Firearms legislation.
The Board will also become involved in the National Anti-Drug Strategy following Royal Assent for legislative proposals calling for introduction of mandatory minimum penalties for serious drug offences. Current plans call for provision of $7.2 million for NPB over four years, including $2.2 million in 2009-10 to manage increased numbers of conditional release reviews as a result of mandatory minimum sentences.