Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (Bill C-31)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, as other opposition MPs have mentioned in regard to this question, it really is difficult to designate a country as a safe country, even with the criteria that my hon. friend has put forward. Some countries will have the apparatus that appears to be representing the rule of law, but some populations within that democracy can still be systematically excluded from access to those rights.

I refer to a recent quote from Mr. Justice Hughes in the Federal Court. This was a case that just came down February 22 of this year, Hercegi v. Canada, in which Mr. Justice Hughes said:

…the evidence is overwhelming that Hungary is unable presently to provide adequate protection to its Roma citizens.

I ask my hon. friend to comment on this kind of specific problem.

Bob Zimmer: Mr. Speaker, once again, our bill seeks to stem that huge flow that is seeking to abuse our asylum system.

Certainly, as the hon. member mentioned, there are other situations. They can be addressed within a particular act. Just because a country is designated a safe country does not mean they do not have other means to get to Canada. They do. They have other options open to them. It does not mean we are closing the door to them, but it would just be done in a different way.