Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism speaks during a luncheon at the Economic Club of Canada Event in Ottawa March 7, 2012 about “Canada’s Immigration System and our Economic Future”.
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
QMI Agency learned of the detail Monday, with the Commons poised to pass Bill C-31 on second reading and send it to committee for study.
The "safe country" designation is meant to stop bogus refugee claimants from coming to Canada and collecting social assistance while their cases are processed.
In recent years, Hungary has become Canada's top source country of refugee claims. Usually from stateless Roma, those claimants almost always abandon or withdraw their applications.
Under C-31, claims from "safe" countries would be dealt with, and likely rejected, in just six weeks - not enough time to qualify for social assistance before being deported.
Hungary's government welcomed the changes.
"We sincerely hope that Hungary will be a designated 'safe' country of origin," Tamás Király, Hungary's deputy head of mission in Ottawa, said in an e-mail. "This would largely reduce the incentives for economic migrants to come to Canada as asylum seekers."
Among the bill's other changes is an effort to pull away the welcome mat from refugee claimants who use human smugglers to come to Canada.
Migrants who arrive en masse, such as those who came from Sri Lanka aboard rusty vessels in 2009 and 2010, would be detained for up to one year.
They'd also be blocked for getting Canadian residency and sponsoring family members as immigrants for five years.
The NDP's Craig Scott called on MPs give the bill a rough ride in committee "and not back the government in what is ultimately repressive legislation."
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney argues the changes will protect public safety.