This means that criminals who commit first- or second-degree murder may no longer be able to apply for early parole.

“Our government believes murderers must serve serious time for the most serious crime,” said Minister Nicholson. “By ending ‘faint hope’ reviews, we are saying ‘No’ to early parole for murders. We are also sparing families the pain of attending repeated parole eligibility hearings and having to relive these unspeakable losses, over and over again.”

Currently, first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years. Under Section 745.6 of the Criminal Code — the “faint hope” clause — offenders sentenced to life imprisonment can apply, at the 15-year mark in their sentence, for an earlier parole eligibility date.

Offenders who commit murder on or after the day this legislation comes into force will not be eligible for early parole under the “faint hope” regime. Those offenders currently serving their life sentence or awaiting sentencing will face tougher rules when they apply for early parole.

The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages was in Vancouver and met with families of murdered victims.

“Law-abiding Canadians often wonder why those convicted of taking a life can get out of jail early,” said Minister Moore. “Our Government believes that these crimes must be punished and that these offenders must serve their full sentences.

Justice Canada.