A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed a report by the Canadian Press that the Canadian government has made a formal offer to the Philippines to bring back roughly six dozen containers of household trash incorrectly labelled as recycling almost six years ago.
They will be shipped back to the Port of Vancouver if the offer is accepted.
“Canada has made an offer to the Philippines with a view to quickly bring the garbage back to Canada for disposal,” said Adam Austen, press secretary for the minister, in an email. “We await their response.”
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte threatened in April to “declare war” if Canada did not take back the containers, which were shipped by a private firm in 2013 and 2014 and have been sitting at the port in Manila ever since.
Duterte later threatened to load the containers onto a ship and dump it on Canadian beaches if it was not retrieved.
His threat of war prompted Canadian officials to say for the first time that they were willing to bring it back after some negotiations took place.