Friday, November 20, 2015
The Canadian Garbage Mess (Part 6)
THE CANADIAN GARBAGE MESS (Part 6)
By Anton Antonio
November 21, 2015
The Canadian garbage mess is proving to be a long drawn affair. Environmental groups have been waiting for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting to be held in the Philippines for the chance to bring the Canadian garbage issue to the attention of the Prime Minister of Canada. Well, the long wait is over but this is what happened as reported by the Inquirer…
“TRUDEAU VAGUE ON ADDRESSING CANADIAN TRASH ISSUE
By Marc Jayson Cayabyab
November 19, 2015
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday vowed to close the loopholes in the law that allowed the shipment of Canadian garbage to the Philippines, but he remained vague on whether the trash would be shipped back to his country. In a hastily called press conference with the social media heart throb, the prime minister said there’s a “Canadian solution” within its own legislative framework. He only said the law which allowed the shipping of garbage from Canada must be fixed to weed out the loopholes that allowed the dumping of the garbage in the first place. “I have been made aware of the situation and I’ve also been told that there is a Canadian solution in the process of being developed. But, at the same time, I know that this has exposed a problem that needs fixing within our own legislation that we’re going to lean into and makes sure happens,” Trudeau said. Asked to explain what action he would take, Trudeau said the law must be revised so that in the future Canadian companies which dumped garbage to other countries would be made accountable. “Well, I think, going forward, we need to ensure that if a situation like this were to arise once again that the Canadian government has more power to actually demand action from the companies responsible. I believe there are loopholes here that were allowed to be skirted that we need to make sure we close (these), both for Canada’s interest and for our good relationships with our neighbors.” He said. Dubbed an “Apec Hottie” on social media, Trudeau’s attendance at the Apec was hounded by the garbage issue involving a Canadian company that shipped to the Philippines, in the guise of recyclable scrap plastic materials, several tons of soiled adult diapers and household trash. As many as 55 container vans containing garbage from Canada were discovered in 2013 by the Bureau of Customs. Instead of shipping the garbage back to Canada, the BOC has decided to dump the trash in Capas, Tarlac at the Philippines’ expense. The Ontario-based Chronic, Inc. shipped the containers to Manila through its Valenzuela (City)-based consignee, Chronic Plastics. The BOC files criminal charges against Chronic Plastics for violating the Revised Penal Code, the Tariff and Customs Code and the 1990 Toxic Waste Act. The Philippines has been calling on Canada to take back the shipment under a 1995 convention on hazardous waste, which provides that “the exporting country must take back the waste materials if the receiving country refuses to accept them.”
There are, however, marked inconsistencies in the thought process of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While the good Prime Minister believes that the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) should be respected in the South China Sea disputes, he downplayed the Basel Convention to which his country is a signatory. Incidentally, the UNCLOS is an international treaty (also known as the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty) that details the manner by which territorial claims must be resolved and the Basel Convention is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed countries (like Canada) to less developed countries (like the Philippines). Prime Minister Trudeau, however, in more ways than one, assured the Filipinos that this will never happen again. But what about the trash that at present remains unresolved?
Based on social media accounts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau managed to quell the environmental passion of Filipinas (and the Filipino gay community) by his “Apec Hottie” looks… but this hardy solves the Canadian garbage mess.
Thoughts to promote positive action…
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Inquirer.net, (2015). “Trudeau Vague on Addressing Canadian Trash Issue”. Retrieved on November 21, 2015 from http://globalnation.inquirer.net/132289/trudeau-vague-on-addressing-canadian-trash-issue