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'It's heartbreaking:' Manitoba premier says increase in child deaths is shocking

Manitoba premier Brian Pallister listens as Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, Janice Filmon reads the provincial throne speech at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s premier says it is shocking to see a spike in the number of children who have died in the province.

Manitoba’s children’s advocate released her annual report Monday which showed 187 children died in 2017-18 — the highest number of deaths in nearly a decade.

Most children died from natural causes, like a premature birth or disease, followed by accidental deaths including drowning.

Thirteen of the children who died were in government care, four of them died by suicide.

Premier Brian Pallister says any time a child dies, it’s heartbreaking.

He says if there is anything the province can do better, the government must do it.

The Canadian Press