MAC poll shows public support at all-time high for Canada’s miners

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released a new national poll that for the first time finds high levels of support for […]
A wind turbine at the Raglan nickel operation in Canada. Credit: Glencore

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released a new national poll that for the first time finds high levels of support for Canadian mining. The shift indicated increased understanding on the role Canada’s mining industry must play in producing the green technologies essential to a low carbon future.

For the past 12 years, MAC has worked with Abacus Data to assess public opinion on Canada’s mining sector. This year, support is at an all-time high, with 80% reporting that they have a positive feeling about miners in Canada and 78% saying they have a positive feeling about Canadian mining companies. Other highlights include:

  • 84% give mining companies in Canada a good or acceptable performance in contributing new materials for use in greener and cleaner technologies.
  • 83% say they would like to see more mining projects in Canada provided they have a plan to reduce GHG emissions.
  • 81% say Canada should remain in the oil business provided our barrels are produced by companies that achieve a net zero emissions target.
  • 80% say we need a strong mining sector for Canada’s economy to be healthy over the long term.
  • 80% give Canadian mining companies good or acceptable ratings when it comes to the way they operate in other jurisdictions. This includes measures of how these companies help raise environmental standards and ensure that local communities benefit economically from their mining activities.
  • 79% give mining companies operating in Canada a good or acceptable performance in their efforts to reduce environmental impact.
  • Upon learning about Canada’s leadership in sustainable mining via the Towards Sustainable Mining(TSM) standard, 88% believe it is a good idea for government to support Canadian companies that adhere to such standards in their efforts to win in export markets and to attract investment to Canada.

“This year’s polling data clearly shows that Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the minerals and metals industry is a key partner in accomplishing our goal of a greener future,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC president and CEO. “As one of the lowest carbon-intensity producers of mineral and metal products in the world there is no doubt that Canada fulfills the need for mined materials better than most competing mining jurisdictions and we are pleased to see this recognition by the public at large.”

Abacus reports that the generally positive sentiment about the mining sector is due in large part to the feeling that the industry provides economic benefits and well-paying jobs for Canadians in communities across the country, and that people believe the industry has been making an effort to reduce its environmental impact. Impressions in this area have been improving over time and as more people see mining companies making commitments and taking steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, this too is helping people see the industry as having a promising future in a global economy that is looking to decarbonize.

"Canadians care about climate action and decarbonization and expect progress," said Bruce Anderson, chairman of Abacus Data. "This year's numbers reveal two important trends – first, Canadians are seeing economic opportunities in the mining sector when it comes to the future of uses of sustainably produced minerals and metals; and second, that they observe Canadian mining companies moving in a good direction across a range of priorities, from environmental stewardship to emissions reduction to Indigenous relations. There's enthusiasm about the role Canadian mining is playing in elevating mining standards in other parts of the world too."

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