After a tense couple of weeks between the governments of Canada and the Phillippines over shipping containers full of garbage, Canada has finally agreed to take back their trash.
Yesterday, a formal announcement by a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada confirmed that the trash that was sent to Manilla in 2013 and 2014 will finally be returned to the Port of Vancouver before May 15th.
The garbage will be sent back to Canada no later than the 15th because of an appointed deadline by the Filippino Bureau of Customs. This spells an end to a diplomatic dispute that hadn't seen any progress for some six years.
The containers, which contained recycling waste, electronics waste, used adult diapers, and kitchen scraps have been sitting in the Port of Manilla for far too long. Last month, Filippino president Rodrigo Duterte threatened war against Canada is the trash wasn't picked up by an appointed May 15th deadline.
Canada's embattled Prime Minister has been dealing with "Garbagegate" since he was elected into office. The Phillippines didn't appreciate being left to deal with literal tons of garbage that Canada saddled them with.
Our government tried to negotiate with the Phillippines to recycle the trash for the better part of six years. The nation pushed back, saying that leaving Canadian garbage to fester in the Port of Manilla violated the Basel Convention, a U.N. treaty instituted in 1992 that was designed to reduce the movement of hazardous waste material between nations.
Duterte's spokesman claimed that the threat of war was simply a figure of speech to highlight how grave the situation between Canada and the Phillippines had become. He also said that 70 years of peace and prosperity between the two countries was never at risk.
The Filippino government will apparently attempt to take legal action against the company who originally imported the garbage into the Port of Manilla, according to a statement from Filippino Foreign Secretary, Teodoro Locsin.
In 2017, Trudeau visited the country and was pressured about the escalating situation. He was hesitant to give a clear answer, saying that it was only possible to remove the trash "in theory". The Phillippines had finally had enough of non-answers and broken promises and threaten war against Canada early last month.
Finally, after years of headaches, the Canadian government is taking out the trash. Like a recalcitrant teenager, they'll make a big stink about it but there's no way to rival the stink of six years of festering garbage.
Canada's garbage will sail into the Port of Vancouver sometime before May 15th. The government won't say who's footing the bill, but perhaps the company that originally shipped the garbage to the Phillippines will have to pay for it.
Once it finally arrives in Canada, the disposal of it will be left in the hands of Environment and Climate Change Canada. If the monied elite of Vancouver has anything to say about it, bet your bottom dollar that the garbage will disappear from the port faster than you can say "soiled diaper".