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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I looked at the last year’s figures for Hungary, for Roma, and there has been a lot of inflating of those who were either abandoned, withdrawn or rejected. These are separate categories. There were 165 accepted as legitimate refugees who needed our protection.

I would ask my hon. friend to bear in mind that some people will take desperate steps to escape unbearable circumstances, and they will bring their families.

Bernard Trottier: Mr. Speaker, on the topic of Hungary, we do accept legitimate refugees. However, it is a fact that 95% of refugee claims from Hungary were just abandoned, suggesting that these people were not genuine refugees. They did not have the fear to actually pursue their refugee claim in Canada so they just abandoned it and disappeared into the system.

What we are trying to strengthen through Bill C-31 are those kinds of situations where it is clearly a fraudulent refugee claim used to exploit Canada’s generous refugee and immigration system. By doing biometrics, by putting the other elements of Bill C-31 in place, we will address those issues.