Data from Statistics Canada shows just how generous Manitobans have been, even during the pandemic.
Spokesperson Francois Page says they have now released statistics for the 2020 tax year. It shows that in Canada, 18.4 per cent of tax filers claimed a donation that year. In Manitoba, it climbs to 20.6 per cent. In fact, Manitoba is the leading province when it comes to the percentage of tax filers reporting a charitable donation. Page confirms that for 16 years running, Manitoba has topped that list.
If you dig into the numbers a little further, you find that 26 per cent of Steinbach residents claimed a charitable donation for the 2020 tax year. That percentage is second among cities in Canada, second only to Winkler at 26.8 per cent.
In fact, Steinbach ranked number one when it comes to median donations among metropolitan areas with a population of over 10,000 people. Steinbach's median donation was $2,220. This is at least the second consecutive year that Steinbach has been number one on that list.
In 2020, the median donation in Canada was $340 and in Manitoba, it climbed to $510. The median amount represents the middle point: half of the donors gave more than the median and the other half gave less. The average donation for Manitoba was $2,400.
Within southeastern Manitoba, nearly every community exceeded the provincial average for median donations in 2020. Leading the way was Blumenort at $3,630, which is actually down $200 from 2019. Next on that list was Kleefeld at $2,490, then Steinbach at $2,220, then Landmark at $1,830, then Grunthal at $1,750, then New Bothwell at $1,510, then Niverville at $1,260, then Ste. Anne at $710, then La Broquerie at $690, then St. Pierre at $650, then St. Malo at $400 and Lorette at $370.
Page says these figures would prove that southeastern Manitoba is among the most generous areas of Canada.
"(It) definitely is when you are looking at, especially the number of people donating and the overall amounts," says Page. "I'm sure there are probably individual donors somewhere in Toronto or Vancouver that may be making these huge donations, but as a general population, the community in Manitoba and definitely the community in Steinbach definitely seems like one of the most generous in the country."
Meanwhile, with the pandemic landing in Canada in 2020, these figures represent the first year that COVID-19 might have impacted donations. However Page says donations on tax forms usually come from individuals with a slightly higher income. And, he notes the pandemic did not have the same financial impact on this demographic as it had on those working in retail or the service industry.