Canadian government challenged to support UN ban on exporting wastes to developing countries

Sun, Jul 21, 2019

Basel Convention

Kathleen Ruff,

Most Canadians are not aware that the Canadian government is opposing a UN ban on the export of wastes to developing countries.

In a letter sent to Canada’s Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, international and Canadian environmental organisations are challenging the Canadian government to cease its opposition and support the UN ban.

A recent opinion poll shows that 79% of Canadians think Canada should stop shipping its wastes overseas to developing countries.

Environmental groups in the Philippines, Cambodia and Malaysia are rightfully upset that Canada is treating their countries like a garbage dump. Cambodia and Malaysia are demanding that Canada take back the wastes that were illegally exported to their countries, just as Canada was forced bring back the Canadian wastes that were dumped in the Philippines.

Under the Basel Convention, Canada is legally obliged to ensure that wastes that were illegally exported to a developing country are brought back to Canada by the company that exported them or by the government itself within 30 days of having been notified.

Environmental organisations and the Canadian public are calling on the Trudeau government to demonstrate environmental responsibility and support the UN ban.

Here are background notes on the Basel Ban Amendment.

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