NMMA Canada Makes Headway in Showing Impact of Outdoor Economy

NMMA Canada

Aug 10, 2021

NMMA Canada is part of a broader group of 14 trade associations—the Canadian Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (CORR)—formed in 2019 to provide a strong voice for outdoor businesses and grow the outdoor economy across Canada. Last month, Sara Anghel and Jim Wielgosz met with Statistics Canada (StatCan) officials to explore ways to better track the outdoor industry’s economic impact. This was prompted by earlier conversations with officials in the Alberta department of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

The StatCan officials were receptive to the idea of creating an Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, similar to the initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. The goal would be to gather economic impact data by province and region to show the clout of the outdoor sector and make the case for public partnerships and investments. A prime example of data leading to results is the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act legislation passed in 2020, which will spend up to $9.5 billion over five years to address the deferred maintenance backlog on public lands and waters.

For years, Parks Canada and other public entities have reported on the growing deferred maintenance and repair backlog at Canada’s national and provincial parks. The liability runs into the billions of dollars. This underinvestment negatively impacts local communities, visitor access and enjoyment, and safety on public lands and waters. Led by NMMA Canada, the effort to produce more robust and local data—economic output, jobs, GDP—on the outdoor industry will be a key part of making the case for improving Canada’s cherished outdoor infrastructure.

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