(file photo)

The federal government has extended emergency benefits to Canadians in need amid the ongoing pandemic, Prime Minister Trudeau announced on Friday.

“We are extending the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit by 12 weeks. The maximum you can claim 38 weeks in total. If you need support while you look for a job or if you have to take care of your family these benefits will continue to be there for you,” said Trudeau in a video conference this morning.

“We are increasing the help available in regular EI claims. 24 more weeks you can use if you need it. We are also extending the sickness benefit from two weeks to four weeks. Nobody should be going into work sick. Period.”

Canada’s unemployment rate has been steadily climbing since the pandemic first began last year in March, but has seen a drop this past January.

This past January employment fell -1.2%, according to Statistics Canada.

Employment declined in January in three services most affected by restrictions.

Accommodation and food services dropped 8.2%, retail trade dropped 7.4% and information, culture, and recreation dropped 2.4%.

B.C.’s unemployment rate is 7.4% and Victoria’s regional unemployment rate is 5.0%, according to WorkBC. 

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.