First let me just say how proud I am to be a Canadian today. Your testimony reminds me of where I was as an international relations student, not long ago, it seems, in my mind, and, by the way, it won't be 10 years before you're members of Parliament. You don't need to wait that long. Thank you for being here.
Amnesty International I've supported personally. My family also has, perhaps because of Charlie Pley, my law school classmate, who was very involved in Amnesty in Ontario. Again, I'm proud that you're here today.
However, I want to say that while we rally around the same conclusions, that as Canadians we want to extend compassion to people who are in these unacceptable circumstances, my interpretation of the bill differs from yours in some ways. One of the basic issues I have is that I think it's also a human rights violation for us to keep people waiting for over 1,000 days, on average, the way we currently do, to process them, and I believe we need to do that faster. In this difficult position of being decision-makers in government, we have to make some decisions, and it's inevitable that there will be individual cases and problems with the decisions we make.
Let me ask you this first. If you understood that a large percentage of claims from certain countries—and I'm referring to the EU countries—were being abandoned or withdrawn, if you knew that people who come in from those countries were occupying a large amount of our financial resources—and Kelsey referred to financial usage—and you knew that they were using a lot of the processing time, which is therefore delaying the processing time for people who ultimately, we know, are refugees, wouldn't that in itself be something we would have to tackle? The percentages are very large. We're learning that about 90% of claims from Hungary weren't withdrawn, so there is where the bill moves to designating so-called safe countries.
Let me just throw in one more thing. Don't believe for a minute that the minister can totally, arbitrarily, and capriciously decide which are safe countries, because our Federal Court will require him to be accountable vis-à-vis certain criteria. The criteria, by the way, are laid out in the bill, criteria dealing with, for instance, countries where the numbers of claims are withdrawn or abandoned. So he has to be guided by that, and not arbitrarily and capriciously just say what is a safe country.
Let me get a response from Amnesty.
I would like Ms. Angeley and Ms. Fortier to answer as well.