MANILA, Philippines – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Manila on Tuesday evening, November 17, to join other leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, part of his first international trip as Prime Minister.
Trudeau arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 5:40 pm, coming from the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.
Trudeau, 43, was sworn in on November 4, after he led his Liberal Party to a landslide win in the Canadian parliamentary elections held on October 19.
He is the second-youngest prime minister in Canadian history, and follows in the footsteps of his father, the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau who held the position from 1968 to 1979, and from 1980 to 1984.
Trudeau was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008, after years trying out different roles. He worked as a whitewater raft guide, snowboard instructor, bartender, bouncer, and public speaker.
Prior to the APEC Summit, Trudeau attended the G20 Summit, where he had meetings with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
The APEC Summit comes at the heels of the Paris terror attacks on November 13, which has placed Trudeau in a dilemma on whether to deliver on a campaign pledge to halt air strikes against ISIS.
He is also courting controversy in Manila, where environmental groups are urging his country to once and for all resolve the illegal dumping of Canadian garbage in the Philippines.
The issue started during his predecessor Stephen Harper’s administration, when some 98 container vans of garbage from Canada were illegally shipped to Manila’s port.
Despite calls from civil society groups for Canada to repatriate the trash, the Canadian government has said it preferred that the garbage be disposed of in the Philippines. – With reports from Agence France-Presse and Pia Ranada / Rappler.com