A stain on Canada
On the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit at that time, Mr. Trudeau said regulations in Canada that had prevented it from taking back the shipment had been cleared away, making it theoretically possible for Ottawa to remove a “longstanding irritant” in its relations with Manila. He also said his government would continue working to resolve the problem—but offered no guarantees that the Canadians would indeed take back their garbage. He also observed at the time that the shipment began as a private commercial transaction and did not involve the two governments, and as such, the two sides would still have to determine who would pay for the shipment back to Canada. A year has passed and Mr. Trudeau’s reassuring words to Filipinos remain meaningless, as neither he nor his government has done anything to take back the tons of plastic bottles, plastic bags, household garbage, and used adult diapers illegally shipped to Manila by a private Canadian company. In contrast to Mr. Trudeau’s non-committal approach, South Korea has assured the Philippines it will take back the 5,100 tons of waste materials that were misdeclared as “plastic synthetic flakes.” “Relevant authorities of Korea will have the wastes in question… repatriated and properly disposed of and work to prevent recurrence of the problem,” a statement from the South Korean embassy said.