April 25, 2019 10:00 am
Updated: April 25, 2019 11:10 am

Scott Thompson: You can’t preach environment while ignoring your own trash

Filipino environmental activists wear a mock container vans filled with garbage to symbolize the 50 containers of waste that were shipped from Canada to the Philippines.


The ongoing Justin Trudeau tire fire continues to smoulder.

As if his sagging poll numbers, the SNC-Lavalin/Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal or the wave of political change sweeping the country weren’t enough to keep him up at night, now he’s got an ornery, fired-up Filipino leader after him for not picking up the trash.

The story goes back six years when an Ontario company shipped over 300 containers to the Philippines as recyclable plastics for industry.

READ MORE: ‘We will declare war’: Philippines’ Duterte gives Canada 1 week to take back garbage

Inside the shipping containers, however, was not recyclable plastic but common household waste.

Not only was the material of no use, it created its own dilemma with no one to dispose of it.

Meanwhile, the containers have been stinking up a Manila shipyard for six years while officials try to settle the issue.

WATCH: ‘We will declare war’ against Canada over dumped garbage: Duterte

Story continues below

Although this was a private, corporate deal, a court has already ruled the problem is Canada’s and it’s up to us to deal with it.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has declared war on Canada if the garbage isn’t picked up soon, taunting, “Your garbage is coming home.”

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said, “Currently, a joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution.”

If that’s the case, why is Duterte threatening war if the garbage isn’t sent back soon?

READ MORE: Philippines keeps telling Canada to pick up its trash — why is it still there?

Considering the time, money and energy that has already been wasted to date — and will yet be needed to dispose of the garbage — it hardly seems sound to ship it back to Canada.

Either way, it’s Canada’s responsibility to find a solution for its safe disposal.

Trudeau must accept what his environment minister preaches to the rest of us common folk on a daily basis: pollution isn’t free anymore.

And you’ll need some gloves.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML​.​

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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