Canadian gov’t vows to repatriate garbage by June
MANILA, Philippines — The tons of garbage illegally dumped in the Philippines several years ago will be completely shipped back to Canada by the end of June, the Canadian government said Thursday.
In a statement, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna said that the Canadian government has awarded a contract to Bolloré Logistics Canada to safely bring the waste back to that country “as soon as possible.”
“The company will begin preparation for shipping in the coming days. The removal will be complete by the end of June, as the waste must be safely treated to meet Canadian safety and health requirements,” the Canadian government said.
“The safe and environmentally sound disposal in Canada of the waste material will take place before the end of summer 2019,” it added.
Canada further said that it will assume the cost of the shipment, from the preparation, transfer, shipment, and disposal of the waste.
The Canadian government reiterated that it continues to work with the Philippines “to ensure a swift resolution to this important issue of promptly repatriating waste exported to the Philippines by a Canadian company.”
The Canadian government also noted that its Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has spoken with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. last week “to reiterate Canada’s firm commitment to promptly repatriate the waste to Canada.”
“The Government of Canada maintains ongoing discussions with the Government of the Philippines to ensure a positive outcome to this issue in a timely fashion,” it added.
Earlier, Locsin said that the Philippine ambassador and consuls to Canada have been recalled after Ottawa failed to meet the May 15 deadline on shipping back its garbage.
He explained that the Philippines should “maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship-bound there.”
Locsin added that the recall was triggered by Canada not showing up at a meeting with the Bureau of Customs, as relayed to him by the Department of Finance (DOF).
Currently, 69 out of 103 garbage-filled containers illegally shipped from Canada in 2013 and 2014 remain in the Philippines. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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