OTTAWA — A public opinion survey conducted by Abacus Data shows that Canadians are gaining a better appreciation for Canada’s forest industry and the contributions of its workers. At the same time, the poll results also demonstrate the sector needs to continue to inform Canadians about the positive role it plays in sustainably managing the land base, mitigating climate change, and helping Canada transition to a cleaner and greener economy.
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) commissioned Abacus Data to conduct a national public opinion survey to understand the level of knowledge and opinions of Canadians about their forest sector. The survey mirrored polling that was conducted in 2020 and 2021, with results demonstrating that the awareness and impression of forestry are both improving. The positive impression among Canadians was up 8 points compared to 2021, and up 14 points over 2020.
The survey shows that Canada’s forest sector still needs to do more to educate Canadians about the sector’s commitments to sustainability and its world-leading environmental performance standards. Today, 31% of respondents believe Canada is a world leader in forestry and 60% believe Canada is about average.
The survey also clearly revealed that as more people become aware of the industry and its work, impressions improve. Among Canadians who feel they know more about the sector, 72% have a positive impression.
“We are encouraged to see the positive results across the country – results that are also pretty consistent across regions and key demographics,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “Canadians are concerned about their economic prospects, access to affordable housing, and overall cost of living pressures. They want practical and sustainable answers to these fundamental issues. Our sector has a huge opportunity before it to bring more Canadian-made wood and wood fibre-based products to green our households and cities, support the move to a lower-carbon economy, and sustain and create more good-paying jobs for families and communities that need them,” Nighbor added.
The findings reinforce the results of another Abacus Data survey (conducted for Clean Energy Canada, released on February 10th) that showed Canadians want policymakers to strengthen the competitive position of Canada’s sustainable forest products sector.
The Abacus Data survey was conducted for FPAC online with 2,000 Canadians, ages 18 and over between February 23 and March 1, 2022. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/-2%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.