The City of Victoria saw approximately 10.69 per cent of its residents collect the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the course of 2020.
An analysis of federal data by The Canadian Press shows that the city had on average 35,073 recipients during each four-week pay period for the pandemic aid.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit came into effect in late March last year after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, causing a large part of the Canadian economy to shut down. The benefit provided $2000 per month to workers who lost their income as a result of COVID-19.
The CERB lasted from March 2020 until October 2020, before being replaced by other financial supports. Over its lifespan, the CERB paid out nearly $82 billion to 8.9 million people in Canada whose incomes crashed either because they saw their hours slashed or lost their jobs.
In Victoria, there were 66,200 people in the city that received the CERB over the first four-week period. This was the highest figure that collected the government funds over the course of the pandemic, dropping by the next four-week period.
According to the federal data, 42,470 Victoria residents collected the CERB in the second period, 35,990 in the third, 30,770 in the fourth, 26,030 in the fifth, 23,850 in the sixth, and 20,200 in the final month before a trio of new benefits and a revamped employment insurance system replaced CERB.
The figures come from federal data that was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. The news outlet states that this data has helped to provide the most detailed picture yet of where the aid went.
According to the Canadian Press, staff used population counts from the 2016 census to calculate the percentage of the population in Victoria who collected the CERB, based on forward sortation areas (FSA).
Victoria is made up of the following FSAs: V8N, V8P, V8R, V8S, V8T, V8V, V8W, V8X, V8Y, V8Z, V9A, V9B, V9C, V9E, V0R, V0S.
Comparing Victoria to other Canadian cities, Vancouver saw 12.82 per cent of residents collect the CERB in 2020, while Toronto saw 14.12 per cent.
With files to Canadian Press.