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In post-COVID world Canadians look for shipping industry to rebuild economy but balance environmental protection

The invisible strings that tie the globe together have been more evident this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has strained trading networks and challenged the transport of goods. Indeed, seven-in-ten Canadians say they’ve learned more about supply chains this year as they have dealt with shortages of medicines, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and even household goods like toilet paper.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, casts its focus into the future and finds Canadians looking for the industry to play a major role in the post-pandemic economic recovery, while also continuing to make strides in environmental protection. Two-in-five Canadians say the economic side of this equation is paramount, while one-quarter (23%) say environmental aspects are key. In the middle is the largest group – 37 per cent – who feel that balancing both is the best way to proceed.

The shipping industry heads into another year of likely challenges with positive ratings from most Canadians. Building on what now is a five-year trend, four-in-five residents say they have a favourable view of marine shipping. Further, more than half (54%) say that the industry’s importance has grown over the past 15 – 20 years in their estimation.

More Key Findings:

  • An overwhelming majority of Canadians (92%) continue to view marine shipping as either “very safe” (25%) or “generally safe” (67%).
  • However, confidence in the safety of shipping petroleum products appears to be declining with 45 per cent of Canadians voicing concern – up six points from 2018.
  • Younger Canadians lean more heavily toward prioritizing environmental protection than economic growth when it comes to marine shipping. Canadians 35 years of age and older prefer an economic focus.
  • When asked to estimate the proportion of goods in their day-to-day lives that rely on marine shipping, half of Canadians underestimate the total.
  • Most Canadians remain confident in the rules and regulations governing marine shipping safety in Canada. Today, seven-in-ten say this, a number that has stayed relatively consistent since 2016.

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