Saskatchewan Health Minister Silent on Shameful Statistics

I am constantly amazed by the Regina Leader Post's priorities when it comes to news. Today's front page celebrates the naming of a new football VP with a headline as big as one would expect when announcing a huge world event.

Tucked on the inside of the paper however was a story which most people should be shocked by. If Saskatchewan were a country, its infant mortality rate, at 8.3 death per 1000 live births, would fall behind Cuba, Croatia, Chile, Mexico and Turkey just to name a few. The study is printed in Pediatrics and Child Health a publication of the Canadian Pediatric Society.

Even worse in one of Saskatchewan's northern Health Districts the rate is 14.5 which would put them behind Sri Lanka, Serbia, Uruguay, and Jamaica. According to statistics issued by the United Nations that would put that health district behind the rates of 75 countries in the world.

Somehow the Health Minister, Don McMorris, doesn't seem to have anything to say about the issue and Saskatchewan's number one booster and Premier Brad Wall has managed to steer clear of this shameful reality. The Teflon Premier has left it to bureaucrats and Health officials to try to diminish the impact of the report and no doubt Saskatchewan news outlets will let him get away with that.

Another alarming, although not surprising statistic in the report is that after suffering year upon year of successive governments chipping away at Canada's social safety net we have, when it comes to infant mortality, fallen from 10th lowest in 1980 to 24th place today.

Get ready for even more cuts. Brad Wall and Stephen Harper are already sharpening their knives.


  1. As usual I find myself nodding in agreement with your comments on extremely important issues; however, in this post something struck me as very disconcerting regarding a seemingly innocent sentence.

    My expectations around the Saskatchewan Party are minimal at best and so I would be shocked to hear any member of the Government speak intelligently and passionately regarding a social issue such as infant mortality rates.

    What caused me to pause for a moment was the statement "The Teflon Premier has left it to bureaucrats and Health officials to try to diminish the impact of the report...". Why would a very competent and dedicated bureaucracy be silent on this issue. Or rather, as suggested, actively work against raising awareness around these disturbing statistics. I'm of the opinion that the bureaucracy, from time to time, has to speak out against detrimental policies or inaction of elected officials. The statistics in this story suggest to me that the bureaucracy, rather than diminish the impact of the report, should focus on the inaction of the politicians.

    There is no question our elected officials are culpable in this matter; but what is the bureaucracy doing to guide a Government that is disinterested in social issues? And, most importantly, what are we as citizens doing to hold our elected officials accountable on matters such as these?

  2. It is not my view that the bureaucracy should not respond. In fact I think they have a responsibility to do so however the buck stops with the Minister and the Premier.
    The department was left to respond alone which was, and is not acceptable. The Minister, at the very least should be standing up, front and centre saying, "This figure is shameful and we the government accept our responsibility to fix this as soon as possible."
    That is the very least I expect from this or any government.


Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from anyone who visits the site