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Trudeau vows to go after garbage-dumping Canadian companies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press conference at the close of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday vowed to solve the problem of Canadian companies exporting garbage to countries like the Philippines.

"I know that this has exposed a problem that needs fixing within our legislation that we're going to lean into and ensure happens," he said at a press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's International Media Center in Pasay City.

Trudeau's statement came in response to a Filipino journalist's question about the actions his government has taken after Canadian company Chronic Inc. exported in 2013 about 50 40-foot containers of garbage to Chronic Plastics, a company based in Manila. About half of the trash were reportedly dumped in Capas, Tarlac.

Trudeau said he has been made aware of the situation and that his government is in the process of coming up with a solution to the problem. Local activists have been urging the new Canadian prime minister, sworn into power two weeks ago, to do something about the issue.

"I think going forward we need to ensure that if a situation like this were to arise once again... the Canadian government has more power to demand action from the companies responsible. I believe there were loopholes here that were allowed to be skirted and we need to make sure we close both for Canada's interests and good relationships with our neighbors," Trudeau said.

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