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COVID-19 UPDATE AND RESOURCES FROM NMMA Canada

NMMA Canada

May 26, 2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has mirrored countries around the globe in shutting down large parts of the economy. Public gatherings are banned or strictly limited; parks and outdoor amenities have been shuttered; and non-essential workplaces ordered closed. As elsewhere, Canadians are being told to stay home and ‘flatten the curve’.

In the recreational boating sector, this has meant a near-blanket closure of marinas and retail showrooms. Manufacturers and distributors have had to scale-back their operations and furlough workers. The effect on our industry has been dire: according to a survey done last month by Boating Industry Canada, nearly three-quarters of respondents reported a sales decline of at least 30 percent, and 45 percent had laid-off staff. The seasonal aspect of outdoor recreation and associated revenue has also made it harder for many of our members to qualify for government aid, and NMMA has been advocating for policy reforms to better reflect the needs of our sector.

However, recent events give cause for optimism. Successive provinces have announced plans to gradually reopen the economy and ease restrictions around outdoor activities. For example, following joint advocacy by NMMA and Boating Ontario, the Ontario government has allowed marinas and boat clubs to reopen to the public; boat, watercraft and marine supply dealers can also open their doors to customers, with enhanced sanitation and physical distancing. These meaningful steps are a welcome relief to businesses in our sector that earn the bulk of their income in a relatively short season.  Most provinces have also begun to reopen public parks and boat ramps, and sportfishing and hunting seasons are starting on schedule.

As warm weather approaches, Canadians will be venturing outdoors and looking for safe ways to spend time with family and friends. Our sector has a huge opportunity to present recreational boating as a fun and affordable activity that can be enjoyed while socially distancing. The mental health benefits of being on the water are well-known. Boating provides the means to get outside of daily routines, and promotes physiological and psychological improvements to health and wellness, creativity and play, happiness and relaxation.

In the meantime, we encourage you to explore the resources on the NMMA Canada COVID-19 webpage, including our running list of provincial and territorial restrictions.

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Canada’s Marine Retailers Band Together to Form New Canadian Marine Retailers Association

CMRA

The provincial marine associations from across the country, collectively representing over 80,000 jobs and $9.2B in national annual economic impact, announced the formation of a new national association whose mandate will be to represent the interests of recreational boating including recreational boat retailing and brokering, boat and engine & trailer sales, accessories, slip rentals, service, storage, fuel sales and more. Headquartered in Penetanguishene, Ontario, the newly formed Canadian Marine Retailers Association (CMRA) will focus on national issues facing the sector.

“The formation of a national voice to address the many aspects of our sector that affect the jobs and lives of Canadians from coast to coast is something many of our provincial associations have been calling for, for years,” says Brett Ramsey, President of Boating Ontario. “This is a positive step to ensuring issues facing our sector are represented to decisionmakers in the federal government.” READ MORE




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