Canadian Environment Ministry Promises to Solve Trash Shipment to Philippines; Claims it is Legal under Canadian Law
Feb 12, 2016 05:18 AM EST
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to settle the garbage dumping issue with the Philippines. But then, as far as the Canadian ministry of environment is concerned, the trash dumped on the Philippines were not illegal under Canadian rules.
According to INQUIRER, the Canadian Environmental Ministry claimed that the buck stops with the Philippine government for the nearly 3-year-old problem of garbage being shipped from Canada. In fact, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna was not even available for comment regarding a recent petition sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the problem.
The ministry's spokesperson gave a statement that the trash shipment from Canada to the Philippines are legal. Barbara Harvey, spokesperson for the Environment Ministry, recapped that the wastes that ended up on Philippine shores were not illegal under Canadian rules.
"Since the contents of the shipment to the Philippines were materials collected from households, the shipment was not illegal under Canadian regulations," she insisted. She went on to explain, "Consistent with our obligations under the Basel Convention, Canada requires exporters of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials to obtain a valid export permit from Environment Canada before they proceed with any international shipment of these materials."
However, IPEN reported that over thousands of Filipinos raised some questions to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a petition on Monday to resolve the trash problem in the Philippines. As previously reported, the garbage was discovered sealed in 103 container vans that were abandoned in Manila, transferred to the Subic Bay Freeport and dumped in Tarlac province.
About 1,375 petitioners stated to Trudeau, "When you visited our country last November 2015 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, we expected you to at least announce that Canada would take responsibility for its garbage. You disappointed us when you vaguely stated that a 'Canadian solution' is being developed and made no firm declaration [that you would] re-import your garbage."
The petition was sent by email to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Canadian Embassy in Makati City, Manny Calonzo, public information head of the EcoWaste Coalition. They updated the Canadian government that the Philippine government, church, labor and environmental leaders have already claimed that the country "is not a global landfill.".
Moreover, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already vowed to settle the garbage dumping issue with the Philippines. But the environmentalists insist that the trash should be returned immediately to Canada to ensure that similar incidents in the future will not happen, as reported by Gulf News Philippines.
Meanwhile, it is said that even though Trudeau knows about the trash-dumping incident, he was non-committal on the issue of taking the garbage back to Canada. The Canadian Environmental Ministry is also showing that the materials shipped were neither hazardous nor toxic and that the exporters did not really require a valid permit from Environment Canada to ship the wastes.