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Trudeau’s vs reEder’s solution

12:01 AM October 10, 2016

We, members of public interest groups and private individuals, appeal to the government of Canada to extend full cooperation to the government of the Philippines in ensuring the immediate return of the illegal Canadian garbage shipments to Canada.

Last June 30, the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered the return of 50 garbage-filled shipping containers to Canada pursuant to Republic Act No. 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous Nuclear Wastes Control Act.

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As complainants-in-intervention in Criminal Case No. 14-311191 versus importers Adelfa Eduardo and Sherjun Saldon for violation of RA 6969, we request the Canadian government to support the order which an interagency committee, on Sept. 5, 2016, agreed to pursue, as reported by the Bureau of Customs.

Following the court order and the subsequent agreement of the interagency committee to push through with the repatriation of the garbage shipments to Canada, we urge the Canadian government to publicly withdraw the purported “local solution” announced by Canadian Ambassador Neil Reeder in May 2015—that is, “the (Canadian) garbage (will be) treated locally.” This “local solution” is utterly distasteful and illegal as ruled by the court and will only deepen the unhealed wounds caused by this environmental injustice.

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We urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that in lieu of the so-called “local solution,” he follow the “Canadian solution” he alluded to in November 2015, during the Apec summit, in response to a question raised by journalist Tina Monzon Palma.

The “Canadian solution,” now more than ever, must include the environmentally-sound disposal in Canada of the illegal garbage shipments. As stated by the court, “our country should not be made a trash bin by (an)other country,” which “will violate equally important environmental laws (not only RA 6969), such as RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and RA 9275 or the Clean Water Act.”

As the case is limited to only 50 of the 103 container vans of Canadian rubbish that illegally entered our ports, we request Canada’s government, in the spirit of environmental justice, to voluntarily ensure the repatriation of all illegal garbage shipments from Canada. To avoid further embarrassment that could come with another court decision, Canada should just take back all its garbage, including those not covered by the case.

We further urge the government of Canada to pay the Philippines for all the costs incurred in the handling of the Canadian garbage, and to fix the legal loopholes that allowed the unlawful export of garbage from Canada to the Philippines, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.

We want to put this garbage issue behind us, so our countries can turn a new leaf in our bilateral relations. Canada can bring this controversy to a close by doing what is just: taking back this garbage and sending no more overseas.

LEAH PAQUIZ AND OTHER COINTERVENORS (EcoWaste Coalition, GAIA, PSLINK, Sentro, Raphael Lopez, Elaine Lucero), [email protected]

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TAGS: Canada, garbage, letter, Letter to the Editor, opinion, Trash, Trudeau
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