Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, and thank you for being here with us today and for the time you took to prepare your presentations to us.
I have a whole bunch of questions, but unfortunately I'm limited to seven minutes, so I'll try to get in as many as I can.
With regard to the motivation for why this bill has come here, clearly the current system is not working, not when refugees have to wait 1,038 days on average to finalize their claims. It's a heck of a long time for someone to be stuck in limbo. With the provisions in this bill, we're looking to reduce that to 45 days for people coming from designated countries and 216 days for other claimants.
Having said that, I've heard your presentations this morning, and they're very similar to a lot of presentations we heard last week, certainly from the academic, if you will, and theoretical side of the equation. But there is the reality, the practicality, of what we're dealing with when these folks come here, especially, obviously, through irregular means.
I have a question regarding the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees—the UNHCR, for quick purposes.
The UNHCR has recognized the validity of providing expedited processing for refugee claimants from designated countries of origin. In fact, former UNHCR Commissioner António Guterres has said, and I quote:
...there are indeed safe countries of origin. There are indeed countries in which there is a presumption that refugee claims will probably be not as strong as in other countries.
The UNHCR has also indicated that it's completely legitimate to accelerate these claims.
I have a few questions around that.
First of all, is that correct?