Survey Says: Canadians’ see Seafaring industry as vital to Canadian Economy

January 30, 2019


In December 2018, the Angus Reid Institute in collaboration with Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping published a study on the importance of marine shipping to Canadians, especially during a time of uncertainty around trade and pipelines. As an advocate for the industry, the Seafarers International Union of Canada is pleased to see the positive change in Canadians’ view of the marine shipping sector – particularly that 78% of Canadians agree the shipping industry is “critically important” or “very important” to the Canadian economy. This figure has risen by 6 per cent in the last two years, from 72% in 2016 to 78% in 2018.



Data Source: Angus Reid Institute


The SIU of Canada has worked hard to drive the conversation around marine shipping to the forefront in our engagement with the federal government and everyday Canadians. In June 2018, the Union in partnership with the Seafarers’ Training Institute and some of Canada’s largest marine shipping companies launched the Be a Seafarer campaign, aimed at educating and recruiting Canadians to consider a career at sea.


We are encouraged by the results of this survey as it is clear Canadians’ understanding of seafaring is increase. There is still work to be done, and we will continue to raise awareness of seafaring as an important and stable career and maintain our advocacy efforts to protect and strengthen the maritime sector across Canada.


The metrics in the area of importance of the marine shipping industry have increased since the survey was last conducted in 2016.


Not only do Canadians think the shipping industry is vital to Canada, the Institute found that an overwhelming number of Canadians surveyed (94%) believe marine shipping is safe and they are confident (75%) in the rules and regulations governing the sector in Canada. Especially significant for the SIU of Canada is a large majority of Canadians feel the shipping industry (77%) does a good job in terms of its
The survey found residents from British Columbia and Atlantic Canada see shipping as highly important to their communities and provincial economies. Interestingly, the prairie provinces recognize the significance of shipping as critically or very important (85%) to cities and towns near the ocean.


Data Source: Angus Reid Institute


We agree. This is why the SIU of Canada will never stop advocating for strong Cabotage Laws in Canada to protect our jobs, our environment and our economy. For more information on Cabotage Law and why it is so important for Canada, please watch our YouTube video.

The Institute looked at the shipping industry from both a general perspective and through the lens of shipping petroleum products. It showed that Canadians are concerned about environmental impacts of shipping such as oil spills, fuel spills, endangerment to marine life, water pollution, etc. Therefore, many said Canada’s marine shipping safety should receive more attention when it comes to safety policies and procedures, and oversight and enforcement of marine shipping safety policies.


The results of this survey clearly show the importance of maritime shipping to Canada and Canadians, and the SIU of Canada is certain that our efforts and the efforts of our members is a contributing factor to Canadians’ increased awareness and understanding of the industry.