The federal government announced today that it has set a minimum unemployment rate across the country in an effort to help people move from the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit onto Employment Insurance. This means that people in areas such as Greater Victoria, which recorded an 11.1% unemployment rate in July, will receive EI benefits for a minimum of 26 weeks based on a 13.1% baseline rate.
Normally, the number of weeks that someone can claim EI is based on the regional unemployment rate. However, the pandemic has made labour conditions unpredictable. At the same time, the federal government recognizes the need to end CERB, which was brought in as a stopgap.