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Federal data gives most detailed picture yet of where CERB went in Edmonton

An analysis of federal data by The Canadian Press shows that the city had on average 148,479 recipients during each four-week pay period for the pandemic aid. Giordano Ciampini/CP

The city of Edmonton had about 15.03 per cent of its residents receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) last year.

An analysis of federal data by The Canadian Press shows that the city had on average 148,479 recipients during each four-week pay period for the pandemic aid.

Read more: Where did CERB go? Data shows disparities between Canada’s urban and rural areas

Over its lifespan between late March and October of last year, 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 the first four-week period, there were 242,220 people in the city receiving the CERB, and the figure fell from there.

There were 175,120 in the second period, 150,590 in the third, 136,260 in the fourth, 119,640 in the fifth, 114,190 in the sixth, and 101,330 in the final month before a trio of new benefits and a revamped employment insurance system replaced CERB.

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Read more: Ottawa, Alberta to distribute 1-time $1,200 payment to COVID-19 front-line workers

The figures come from federal data The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act that provides the most detailed picture yet of where the aid went.

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The data from Employment and Social Development Canada is broken down by the first three digits of postal codes, known as forward sortation areas (FSAs), to determine the number of active recipients at any time anywhere in the country.

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The Canadian Press used population counts from the 2016 census to calculate what percentage of the population over age 15 in each forward sortation area received the CERB in any four-week pay period.

Some forward sortation areas in the data were created after the 2016 census and weren’t included in the analysis.

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Edmonton is made up of the following FSAs: T5A, T5B, T5C, T5E, T5G, T5H, T5J, T5K, T5L, T5M, T5N, T5P, T5R, T5S, T5T, T5V, T5W, T5X, T5Y, T5Z, T6A, T6B, T6C, T6E, T6G, T6H, T6J, T6K, T6L, T6M, T6N, T6P, T6R, T6S, T6T, T6V, T6W, T6X, T6Y, T0A, T0B, T0C, T0E, T0G, T0N, T0P, T0T, T0V.

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