Good morning and welcome to the Saturday edition of While You Were Sleeping.
Feds probing ways to address COVID-19 impact on women:With women bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal officials are trying to figure out how recovery efforts can help get women back to work, earning more money and securing more stable jobs. Women have seen proportionately steeper job losses than men, and are more often in part-time work, as well as in sectors that were affected early on in the pandemic. Statistics Canada reported this month that 1.5 million women lost jobs over March and April, a 17-per-cent drop in employment from February levels. The actions that Ottawa takes could offer an opportunity to address some of the social inequities COVID-19 has exposed: that women are more often employed in marginal jobs; tend to make less money than men do; and represent the vast majority of health care, child care and elder care workers. Child care is being flagged by many as the most pressing need to help women get back to work.
It’s a whole new shopping experience as Montreal stores reopen: Club Tissus chief executive Frédérik Guérin expects a Boxing Day-style atmosphere when his St-Hubert store reopens next week — and he doesn’t even sell electronics. With demand for homemade masks soaring across Quebec since the COVID-19 crisis began, the fabric, sewing and decoration retailer is so convinced business will boom it’s pushing back its reopening until Tuesday — a day after every other non-essential business in the greater Montreal area is allowed to restart. More than 100 people queued up at Club Tissus locations in Quebec City and Sherbrooke when doors reopened May 4, and Guérin said he wants to make sure staff at the 46,000-square-foot St-Hubert store — the company’s biggest — have enough time to rest before greeting the waiting crowds. “We’ll need to manage not only what’s happening inside the store, but outside,” Guérin said in a telephone interview. “It’s a different reality.” Read more of Frédéric Tomesco’s news feature here.
China reports no new coronavirus cases for first time since pandemic began: China recorded no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 22, the first time it had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan late last year. The National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Saturday that this compared to four new cases on the previous day. It said, however, there were two new suspected cases: an imported one in Shanghai and locally transmitted case in the northeastern province of Jilin.
Hertz files for U.S. bankruptcy protection as car rentals evaporate in pandemic: The more than a century-old car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday after its business was decimated during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in much needed relief. Hertz’s board earlier in the day approved the company seeking Chapter 11 protection in a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, according to court records. Its international operating regions including Europe, Australia and New Zealand were not included in the U.S. proceedings, the company said.