About the OPB


Update

March 26, 2020

On March 20, 2020, the Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order (O.Reg. 73/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The order suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods relevant to tribunal proceedings. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.

If current and / or new parties are not able to meet a timeline, Tribunals Ontario will allow them to do so at a later date. For example, if parties are not able to meet the timeline for submitting an application to a tribunal, they will be able to submit it at a later date.

Tribunals Ontario is continuing to deliver service across the province. Most tribunals are continuing to have hearings, mediations, and case conferences by teleconference or in writing, while some tribunals are rescheduling matters to later dates.

If you are not able to proceed with a matter, please contact the tribunal to reschedule. If you are not able to attend a proceeding by teleconference or in writing, the tribunal will be able to reschedule the matter to another date.

COVID-19 Notice

March 23, 2020

The Ontario Parole Board is temporarily changing its processes to conduct hearings by electronic or written means, rather than solely in-person, providing alternate options for hearings.

Recent amendments to Ontario regulations permit applications for temporary absences to be approved by the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
If referred by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Ontario Parole Board will continue to review temporary absences longer than 72 hours in duration.

Please contact opbregistrar@ontario.ca for more information. Information on the website may not be updated in real time during the ongoing situation.

COVID-19 Policy – Postponing Hearings

March 13, 2020

Effective March 13, 2020, Tribunals Ontario is implementing a new policy to postpone in-person hearings and reschedule to a later date. Where feasible, alternative hearing options such as written and telephone hearings will be considered to minimize disruption to hearings across the organization. In addition, all front-line counter services will be closed as of March 16 until further notice.

For more information, please see the news release.

Introduction

What is the OPB?

The Ontario Parole Board (OPB) is an independent, quasi-judicial agency. It is one of five tribunals in the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO) cluster.

What does the OPB do?

The OPB makes parole decisions for applicants serving a sentence of less than two years in a provincial correctional institution. The OPB also decides applications for temporary absences from a correctional institution for greater than 72 hours.

Under the authority of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act, the OPB can:

  • Grant parole/temporary absence with conditions that are considered necessary;
  • Deny parole/temporary absence;
  • Suspend a parolee’s parole and authorize the re-committal of the parolee to custody;
  • Lift the suspension of the parole or revoke parole; and
  • Cancel a temporary absence that it has granted.

When considering parole and temporary absence applications, public safety is the OPB’s main priority.

Background

What is parole?

Parole is the early release of an applicant from a correctional institution into the community under the supervision of a Probation and Parole Officer. Parole is an opportunity for an applicant to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community under conditions determined by the OPB.

Who is an applicant?

An applicant is the person who committed an offence and for whom parole is being considered. In other settings, applicants may be referred to as “offenders” or “inmates”.

What is temporary absence?

The Temporary Absence program allows an applicant to be away from the institution, without escort, for a defined period of time (in most cases up to sixty days).

Temporary absence is an opportunity for an applicant to prepare themselves for release into the community and may be granted to help the applicant with their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community or for medical or humanitarian reasons. Temporary absence can be requested without having applied for parole or after parole has been denied.

Corrections in Ontario

Ontario’s Correctional Services is part of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MSCS), which:

  • Establishes, maintains, operates and monitors Ontario’s adult correctional institutions and probation and parole offices
  • Has jurisdiction over adult offenders under parole supervision, as granted by the OPB, and
  • Provides programs and facilities designed to assist in offender rehabilitation.

To learn more about MCSCS and the services and programs they offer, please visit their website here.

Parole in Canada

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is an administrative tribunal that makes parole and conditional release decisions for applicants serving sentences of more than two years in federal and territorial institutions.

The PBC also has the authority to make parole and conditional release decisions for applicants serving sentences of less than two years in provinces that do not have their own parole boards.

In Canada, there are only two provincial parole boards:

  • Ontario Parole Board; and
  • Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles.

To learn more about the Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles, please visit their website here.

To learn more about the Parole Board of Canada, please visit their website here.

To learn more about the history of parole in Canada, please click here.