#52 – The Quadriptych of Death, Part One: Infantile Mortality Prevention Plan

Welcome to the Quadriptych of Death, a revitalized effort to comment on some basic mortality statistics that cakers love to pretend don’t exist. The Quadriptych is an extension of the old Triptych of Death, which highlighted three ugly stats in an effort to prove that the numbers cakers love to cite as justification for their podunk infrastructure can just as easily paint a brutal picture of this heap. The goal here is twofold – talk about some truly dreadful stats and figures, and break the notion that numbers can speak a singular truth as to the merits of a society.

The first deadly exemplar that we’re going to talk about is Canada’s rather startling infant mortality rate. To cut to the chase, Canada has the second-highest day one infant mortality rate in the developed world with a genocidal bent (spoilers – Indigenous babies are four times more likely to die than non-natives), has consistently underperformed in terms of relative improvement of this problem and has an incredible variety of shitty problems with infants dying, from basic healthcare failures to almost-hilarious problems with bureaucratic paralysis. It is a common sentiment that the measure of a society’s decency is how it cares for its weakest members, and that idea is strongly supported by considering how Canada cares for its babies.

Before we carry forward – yes, the links I gave you are from 2013. And no, things haven’t gotten any better since. Having said that, let us now move on to the thrilling provincial and territorial options! How about we start with the worst of the worst – Nunavut, which has a stunning 18.2 infant deaths per thousand births, numbers which rank up there with those titans of childcare, Kyrgyzstan and Paraguay! The healthcare system in the North is so shoddy that it can’t even fire bad staffers who lead to the death of children! Hooray for slipshoddiness!

(S) Close enough!

On the east coast, Canada’s resident duncecap personal-union Newfoundland has done a fabulous job of shitting the bed, scoring an amazing D- for its health outcomes, citing the shitacular infant mortality results as part of the reason for getting a barely passing mark. Also, for some fucking reason Newfoundland just…didn’t publish mortality statistics between 1987 and 1990. Why? Fuck if I could find out! Nova Scotia, the worst of the Maritimes in terms of healthcare provision is experiencing a steady uptick in infant mortality rate, which if anything is a small mercy as it means fewer people have to be subjected to that wretched province.

Westwards, then, to Manitoba. You know you’re in good hands with this one when the province fobs off responsibility for its failure onto the federal government, with mortality rates reaching 10.2/1000 in parts of the province, which has it rolling with similar numbers to the African island state of Seychelles. Poor Manitobans experience an infant mortality rate that is twice as high as wealthier Manitobans, which is amusing to me because it suggests that anyone with money would choose to live in Manitoba.

And one more province before we get to Ontario’s laughable bureaucratic failure. I of course just had to bring the Wretched Rectangle Saskatchewan to the show, and boy does it look like a fat stack of stink. How bad does Saskatchesuck suck? To the tune of being worse at keeping babies alive than Panama, that’s how! The other reason I really wanted to bring this hellish province up is because it exhibits an alarming rate of infant mortality in urban cores, suggesting ghettoization and chronic poverty within Saskatchewan’s cities.

Last and least is the most laughable of all of the provinces, Ontario. While today Ontario satisfies its sick bloodlust by dick-snipping babies to death and trying to erase the language of discourse by which this information travels, Ontario for decades used its base incompetence at recording live births to keep the infant mortality rate down. Because some municipalities in this province are so cash-strapped that they introduced registration fees for newborns in the early 1990s, the rate of unreported births tripled from 1991 to 1997. Can’t count dead babies if you never counted them as born, right?

Of course, we know that these figures do not necessarily speak entirely as to the quality of Canada’s infant care. But by simply citing numbers we can cast Canada as a proto-African kleptocracy, which is a fun reversal of the usual tactic of throwing contextless numbers at critics to justify this fucking tottering shitheap.

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