The Social and Economic Value of Commercial Marine Shipping to Canada

The Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas) asked the Council of Canadian Academies to undertake an expert panel assessment on the social and economic value of commercial marine shipping to Canada. This assessment is a separate, but complementary follow-on project to the workshop being undertaken by the CCA, also for Clear Seas, on the Risks of Marine Shipping in Canadian Waters.

Progress Report

The Expert Panel met in Toronto for its fourth and final in-person meeting on December 12-13, 2016. The Panel addressed peer review comments and finalized key messages. The final report is expected to be publicly released in spring 2017. 

The panel participated in an engaging and productive third meeting on September 14-15th in Halifax, NS. The panel will meet once more in December 2016 to discuss comments from the anonymous peer review process. The final report is to be published in spring 2017. 


The high standard of living that Canadians enjoy is dependent, in part, on Canada’s involvement in global trade. About one third of exports and over a quarter of imports by value are transported by water.[i] Shipping is vital to the competitiveness of Canadian commodity exports and is a lynchpin in many Canadian supply chains. In addition to its economic value, shipping is also critical to coastal community survival and food security in the Arctic, as it is often the only source of food and other supplies for Canada’s most northern communities. Current trends in technology, climate change, emerging markets, and other factors, however, may influence the value of commercial marine shipping in the future.

This assessment will explore the extent of both economic and social value of shipping on Canada and its regions* while also looking at how shipping trends now underway might affect Canadian marine shipping activity in the future.


What is the social and economic value of commercial marine shipping to Canada and its regions*? How will global trends related to shipping affect future shipping activity in Canada?

*The regions are: Atlantic Canada, Central Canada (Quebec and Ontario), Northern Canada (including Arctic and the three territories), the Prairies, and Western Canada (British Columbia and Alberta).

Expert Panel

The Chair of the Expert Panel on the Social and Economic Value of Marine Shipping to Canada is Mary R. Brooks, Professor Emerita at Dalhousie University. For a complete list of panel members visit the Expert Panel page

For further information, please contact:

Tijs Creutzberg, Director of Assessments, at 613-567-5000 ext. 232 or

For media inquiries, please contact:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or

[i] Transport Canada. (2015). Marine Transportation. Retrieved June 2015, from


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Sponsor: Clear Seas