A new study found that while Canadians generally feel confident about marine shipping, transporting petroleum continues to be a point of concern.
Conducted by Angus Reid Institute, the study surveyed more than 2,200 Canadians. Of that number, 94% believe marine shipping is either “very safe” or “generally safe.”
However, when asked about shipping petroleum products in Canadian waters, only 61% said they were confident about the act, leaving a substantial 39% with some reservations due to the risk of spills.
The study also found that Canadians tend to link oil spills with marine shipping. Research associate Ian Holliday told Global News that more than half of those surveyed have identified oil spills as a major risk associated with the shipping industry.
Despite this troubling association, Holliday noted that some people might be overestimating how many major oil spills – where at least 700 tonnes of oil have been leaked – have occurred in Canadian waters.
“Most Canadians guess that over the last 10 years, there have been at least three such spills,” he said. “In fact, there have been zero spills of that size.”