Canadian envoy sees better Philippines-Canada ties

“OUR relations are good and are only going to get better,” Canadian Ambassador to Manila John Holmes said during the 152nd Canada Day in Makati City on Monday night.

“The final resolution of this problem, never mind how long it took, came about through tremendous cooperation between the government of the Philippines, the Embassy, and the officials in Canada,” he said in a speech at a reception hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

“We got the job done and my message coming out of that issue is that if our two countries can continue to work collaboratively as we did in resolving this matter, imagine what we can do to enhance our trade, our investment, our people-to-people context. The opportunities are limitless and we really want to build on that,” he stressed.

The Canadian government is “delighted” with the statement from the Palace affirming that Ottawa and Manila’s relations are “cordial” and back to normal.

Holmes revealed the Philippines and Canada are seeking to further boost ties in agriculture, transportation, and information and communications technology.

“These are the areas we are very interested and I think a lot of scope for partnerships in that,” Holmes said.

From 2013 to 2014, Canadian company Chronic Inc. exported containers labeled as recyclable plastics to two importers in the Philippines. The shipment however was found to contain a mixture of plastics, metals, and paper, as well as household wastes and diapers.

In 2016, courts in the Philippines ordered the importers to ship the containers back to Canada at their expense but the importers failed to comply with the court order.

After this issue, Canada in 2016 amended its Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the amendments now apply to waste that is controlled or prohibited in the country of import.