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Canada Post warns COVID-19 measures and 'unprecedented' volumes are causing delivery delays – National Post



OTTAWA – It’s Christmas in April for Canada Post, who delivered more packages last Monday than during most days leading up to the winter holidays. But that’s a double-edged sword, as the flood of parcels is causing delivery delays because of social distancing measures.

“People should expect delays. It may just be one day or two, but it may be several more days depending on where the package is coming from as it’s working its way through our facilities,” Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton warned in an interview.

The reasons behind the new delays are twofold.

First of all, the crown corporation is dealing with an “unprecedented” volume of parcels for the month of April.

“We’ve seen a growth increase over the past few weeks, and we’re now well over 30 per cent over the volume we would normally deliver. On Monday this week, we delivered 1.8 million parcels. Those are the levels we’d see in the run up to Christmas, which is absolutely the busiest time of the year,” Hamilton explained.

He said the crown corporation delivers 1.7 million parcels on the average pre-Christmas day. On the busiest day in Canada Post history, employees delivered a whopping 2.2 million parcels.

“Christmas is the time of year we plan for starting in January,” he continued, whereas there was little to no time to prepare for the rush this time around.

Secondly, though the recent massive uptick in package deliveries may seem like good news for the crown corporation — and it is in many regards — it also arrives at a time when it is operating at a reduced capacity.

That’s because of social distancing measures to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Thus, there are fewer people who can work simultaneously in close quarters at nearly every step of the delivery process, from the arrival of shipments in Canada to the delivery at a doorstep.

It’s certainly been challenging

“First, there’s physical distancing at the docks. Also, our processing plants aren’t designed to keep people two metres apart. So a line that maybe had two people working to move faster, now only has one person at certain stops. And then when you’re loading material into vehicles, you can’t have more than one person in that confined space,” Hamilton said.

Canada Post has also noticed an increase in other risks to its postal workers, such as an unusually high number of incidents involving animals during deliveries. The main culprits are obviously dogs, which are left outside longer or taken for walks more frequently as Canadians are mostly staying home.

“It’s certainly been challenging, it is a time of concern for anybody. So far so good, but at the same time, it’s taking longer to process and deliver, so we want to be up front with Canadians and let them know that it’s going to take longer to get their items because we’re putting safety first,” said Hamilton.

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National unemployment rate hits new record; Bombardier to cut 2500 jobs; Ontario lifting restrictions on short-term rentals – Toronto Star



The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

10:40 p.m.: The White House’s coronavirus task force has all but vanished from public view as President Donald Trump pushes Americans to put the outbreak behind them and resume normal social and economic life.

The task force was once a staple of Trump’s response to the pandemic. From March 4 until late April, the panel held nearly daily, televised briefings at the White House, many headlined by Trump. Its medical experts fanned out across TV networks to share guidance on curbing the spread of the virus.

The last briefing was April 27, when Trump predicted the U.S. would suffer between 60,000 and 70,000 deaths from the outbreak. At least 107,000 Americans have died.

10:00 a.m.: North Durham communities continue to see new reported COVID-19 cases.

In Uxbridge, Durham Region Health has reported 85 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Monday, June 1st. 27 people are in isolation. They list 39 of the cases as resolved. One person is in hospital because of COVID-19. 18 people in Uxbridge have died from the virus.

They list Scugog as having 17 cases. Two people are in isolation, and 15 of the cases have resolved.

Brock Township has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five people are in isolation, and three cases have resolved.

Region wide, Durham has 1,472 confirmed cases. 137 people are in isolation, 24 people are in a hospital. 175 Durham residents have died due to the virus. 1,136 cases have resolved.

9:50 a.m.: India’s Health Ministry on Friday reported another record spike in new coronavirus cases — more than 9,800 in 24 hours.

India now has 226,770 confirmed cases with 6,348 deaths, 273 of them in the past 24 hours, the ministry said. It says the overall rate of recovery for coronavirus patients is around 48%.

9:30 a.m.: The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in May to 13.3% — still on par with what the nation witnessed during the Great Depression — as states loosened their coronavirus lockdowns and businesses began recalling workers.

The government said Friday that the economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, driving unemployment down from 14.7% in April.

The May job gain, which confounded economists’ expectations of another round of severe losses, suggests that thousands of stores, restaurants, gyms and other companies reopened and rehired more quickly than many analysts had forecast.

9:00 a.m.: Ontario’s for-profit nursing homes employ, on average, 17 per cent fewer full-time and part-time workers compared to non-profit and municipal homes, according to a Star analysis of union staffing data.

The Star found that for every 100 beds in for-profit long-term-care homes there were 99 unionized workers, compared to 115 for every 100 beds in non-profit homes and 124 for every 100 beds in municipal homes. The Star’s analysis is based on pre-pandemic staffing levels.

Read the full Star Exclusive by Brendan Kennedy and Kenyon Wallace.

8:30 a.m. (updated): Statistics Canada reports a record high unemployment rate as the economy added 289,600 jobs in May, with businesses reopening amid easing public health restrictions.

The unemployment rate rose to 13.7 per cent, topping the previous high of 13.1 per cent set in December 1982 in more than four decades of comparable data.

The increase in the unemployment rate came as more people started looking for work.

8:15 a.m.: Europe could have its free travel zone up and running again by the end of the month, but travellers from further afield will not be allowed in before July, European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said Friday after talks among the bloc’s interior ministers.

Panicked by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy in February, countries in the 26-nation Schengen area — where people and goods move freely without checks — imposed border restrictions without consulting their neighbours to try to keep the disease out. The moves caused traffic jams and blocked medical equipment.

6:30 a.m.: Bombardier says it will lay off 2,500 workers from the aviation side of the company because of the pandemic’s impact on its markets.

The transportation firm said the majority of the reductions will impact manufacturing operations in Canada and will take place progressively throughout the year.

Bombardier says it has to adjust its operations to ensure it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis in a strong position.

It says industry-wide business jet deliveries are forecast to be down by 30 per cent year-over-year due to the pandemic.

5:50 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to offer premiers billions in federal funding to help them safely reopen provincial and territorial economies without triggering an explosive second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Precise details, including how to allocate each province’s share of the cash, are to be negotiated in the coming days, but federal officials hope agreements can be reached quickly to get the money flowing fast.

5:50 a.m.: Ontario is lifting restrictions on short-term rentals today.

Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli says the facilities were able to resume operations as of 12:01 a.m.

Lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed-and-breakfast rentals are all included in the reopening.

Ontario’s tourism minister said Thursday the sector had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the province may not see its visitor levels return to 2019 levels until 2024.

5:45 a.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled an earlier decision to impose a new, two-day weekend curfew in 15 of the country’s provinces.

Erdogan said on Twitter Friday that the curfew would “lead to different social and economic consequences.”

5:00 a.m.: Across Toronto, many neighbourhoods known for their independent, distinctive characters are at risk of seeing local institutions close, businesses owners and analysts say.

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A survey published April 23 by Restaurants Canada found that one in two independent restaurants didn’t expect to survive the following three months without improved conditions.

Read the full story from the Star’s Rosa Saba.

4:00 a.m.: There are 93,726 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, according to The Canadian Press, including 7,637 deaths, 51,501 resolved.

This breaks down as follows (NOTE: The Star does its own count for Ontario, updates to come later this morning):

  • Quebec: 52,143 confirmed (including 4,885 deaths, 17,098 resolved)
  • Alberta: 7,091 confirmed (including 146 deaths, 6,611 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 2,632 confirmed (including 166 deaths, 2,265 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 1,058 confirmed (including 61 deaths, 995 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 648 confirmed (including 11 deaths, 608 resolved)
  • Manitoba: 287 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 284 resolved), 11 presumptive
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 256 resolved)
  • New Brunswick: 136 confirmed (including 1 death, 120 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)
  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)
  • Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
  • Nunavut: No confirmed cases

3:33 a.m.: South Africa has seen its largest daily jump in new coronavirus cases.

The 3,267 new cases bring the country’s total to 40,792. More than 27,000 of those are in the Western Cape province centred on the city of Cape Town.

South Africa has the most virus cases in Africa, where the total number is now above 163,000.

The continent still represents less than 3% of the global total of cases but South Africa and Egypt are hot spots, and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is another growing concern with more than 11,000 cases and relatively little testing for the virus.

Shortages of testing and medical equipment remain a challenge across the 54-nation continent, where just 1,700 tests are being carried out per 1 million people.

3 a.m.: Muslims in Indonesia’s capital held their first communal Friday prayers as mosques closed by the coronavirus outbreak for nine weeks reopened at half capacity.

Authorities checked temperature and sprayed hand sanitizers at the entrance to the mosques, and police and soldiers ensured the faithful observed social distancing and wore masks.

Thursday 5 p.m.: Ontario health units report 31,153 cases of COVID-19, up 346, and that 2,419 people have died, which is an increase of 46, the highest total of deaths since May 20; 38 of these were in Toronto. With 183 new COVID-19 cases, the city also accounted for more than half the province’s of total cases today.

Thursday 2:45 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Penguins announce that one of their players has tested positive for COVID-19. The player, who wasn’t identified, is recovering and doing well, the team said. He’s isolating himself at home.

The NHL is working toward a plan to resume the 2019-20 season with 24 teams playing out of two hub cities. The league has said it plans to test players on a daily basis if play resumes.

Read more of Thursday’s coverage here.

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BREAKING: Canadian job market surprises with 289,600 added in May despite COVID-19 – Yahoo Canada Finance



(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Canadian economy added 289,600 jobs in May, as parts of the economy reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economists were expecting 500,000 jobs would be lost during the period.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The unemployment rate went up to 13.7 per cent according the the data from Statistics Canada, which is a record-high since data became available in 1976.” data-reactid=”25″>The unemployment rate went up to 13.7 per cent according the the data from Statistics Canada, which is a record-high since data became available in 1976.

The majority (219,400) of the jobs created were full-time positions.

Timing played a big role in the job creation surge.

“Labour Force Survey (LFS) results for May reflect labour market conditions as of the week of May 10 to May 16,” said Statistics Canada in its report.

“By then, some provinces had begun to re-evaluate and gradually ease public health and other restrictions, including allowing some non-essential businesses to re-open.”

Quebec accounted for nearly 80 per cent of the jobs created.

Ontario, which along with Quebec has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, was the only province to lose jobs in May.

Trevin Stratton, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist and VP of Policy, called the numbers the “Schrodinger’s cat of job” markets. He says we shouldn’t read too much into them.

“It is indeed a strange time when we react favorably to slowing job losses that by any standard measure would be catastrophic. Today’s figures (290,000 jobs gained, but 13.7% unemployment) are both terrible and positive at the same time,” he said in a release.

We are still in an unprecedented economic downturn, but the unemployment rate is slowing. Canada avoided the worst-case economic scenario and the economic impact on the global economy has peaked, according to the Bank of Canada’s latest outlook.

Brendon Bernard, economist at Indeed, says there are signs of encouragement including a rise in jobs postings. But a number of factors will determine how a recovery plays out.

“How much the re-opening of shuttered areas of the economy boosts net-employment growth will in-part depend on whether layoffs slow,” said Bernard.

“Growth in CERB applicants has eased through early June, but haven’t stopped, suggesting shockwaves from the pandemic continue to reverberate throughout the labour market. Durability of the rebound is going to require Canadians to have reason for optimism about the outlook for the economy, and the public health situation.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Canadian economy shed around 3 million jobs in March and April.” data-reactid=”38″>The Canadian economy shed around 3 million jobs in March and April.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter&nbsp;@jessysbains.” data-reactid=”39″>Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for&nbsp;Apple&nbsp;and&nbsp;Android.” data-reactid=”40″>Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android.

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Bombardier to lay off 2,500 aviation workers amid COVID-19 struggles –



Bombardier will lay off 2,500 aviation workers throughout the year as the company struggles to keep its operations afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release Friday morning the Quebec-based transportation company said it is expecting to see a 30 per cent year-over-year loss in business jet sales, forcing it to reduce its workforce.

In a statement to Radio-Canada Friday, the company said 1,500 of the layoffs will be in its Quebec facilities and 400 in Ontario, with the rest of the layoffs in its international facilities.

“These are permanent layoffs,” the company confirmed in a statement. 

Bombardier paused all operations in March in an effort to protect employees from the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

It gradually resumed operations again last month, but had already reported a loss of $200 million US in its first quarter.

The layoffs are just the latest in a series of struggles for the aerospace giant. 

In February, Bombardier exited the commercial plane business, selling its remaining stake in the A220 program to Airbus, in an effort to pay off a multibillion-dollar debt.

That same month, the company also sold its rail-building unit to French train giant Alstom SA, marking its exit from the rail business. 

More to come. 

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