Canadians see themselves as a sea-faring nation and have positive views about shipping and its contribution to the country. Canada’s coastal regions feel this most strongly.
Overall, these findings show that Canadians are equally aware of the importance of marine shipping to our economy and that environmental concerns cannot be ignored, especially along our coastlines.
One of the key lessons learned from the survey is that Canadians expect improvement by all marine shipping stakeholders — from governments to industry to port authorities — to provide better knowledge and oversight of marine shipping activities, especially safety policies.
These findings emerge from an Angus Reid Institute public opinion poll conducted in partnership with Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping.
Highlights from the poll include:
- Majority of Canadians (86%) described their overall view of the marine shipping industry as “positive”
- Canadians feel confident that marine shipping is safe, including the shipment of LNG (but have concerns about shipping petroleum products)
- Most Canadians have confidence in existing oversight mechanisms to ensure industry safety (but have concerns that not enough attention is paid to them)
- Vast majority of Canadians (75%) believe marine shipping makes an important contribution to the economy, facilitates international trade and benefits coastal communities
- Narrow majority of Canadians oppose expanded oil tanker traffic in Bay of Fundy (57%) and along BC south coast (55%)
- Small majority (53%) support federal government’s moratorium on crude oil shipments along BC’s northern coast
- Only 14% of Canadians are aware that there have been NO major oil spills in Canada in the last decade (major: 700 tonnes and greater)
- Canadians’ top three concerns about shipping safety are: potential oil spills (67%), potential fuel spills (61%) and water pollution (59%)
- Canadians ranked port and harbour authorities as doing the best job in terms of their contribution toward safe shipping in Canada (64%), followed by the shipping industry and specific federal departments
To read the complete poll results, please visit Angus Reid Institute: Canadians feel confident that marine shipping is safe, but they have reservations about transporting oil