Filipino activists hope that the “Winds of Change” following the election of popular Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will benefit the groups’ plea. They want the illegally exported waste be reclaimed by Canada.
In June and September of last year, over 50 container vans were “illegally” exported to the Philippines from Canada, but they were intercepted by the Customs authorities of the country when they arrived.
Environmental, health and labor groups from the Philippines have expressed their demand for the new prime minister to take action.
Since the Philippines is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation next week, in which Trudeau will be attending, the groups are hoping that it’s a good venue for Philippine president, Benigno Aquino III, and Trudeau, to discuss the issue.
According to one group’s spokesperson, as published by local website, Interaksyon.com, “with PM Trudeau at the helm, we expect the Canadian government to turn around the previous stonewalling by the (Stephen) Harper government, to make things right and just, and take back the waste that Canada exported to the Philippines.” This statement was said by Shalimar Vitan, chief operations officer of Ban Toxics, one of the groups hoping for Canada’s move.
They reiterated in the same report that the container vans are “considered hazardous under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes, to which Canada and the Philippines are signatories, and cannot therefore be shipped between countries.”
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s 23rd prime minister, and son of former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau. He has one of the most diverse cabinet members in Canada’s history and has started rebuilding relationships with indigenous people in his country.