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Life Expectancy Declines in Canada: COVID-19 and Rising Deaths Among Youth to Blame

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Life Expectancy Declines in Canada: COVID-19 and Rising Deaths Among Youth to Blame

In a startling revelation, Statistics Canada reported a decline in Canadian life expectancy for the third consecutive year in 2022. The current average life expectancy stands at 81.3 years, a significant drop from 82.3 years in 2019. This reduction is attributed to an increase in deaths, particularly among younger ages, and the relentless impact of COVID-19, which has now become the third leading cause of death in Canada.

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COVID-19: A Major Contributor

Over the course of 2022, an alarming 19,700 Canadians lost their lives to COVID-19, marking the highest yearly toll since the onset of the pandemic. The disease spared no age group, but the elderly bore the brunt of it. A staggering 91.4% of the COVID-19 deaths occurred in individuals aged 65 and older. The effects of the pandemic were particularly seen in provinces like New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, with the latter witnessing a two-year drop in life expectancy since 2019.

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Young Lives Lost

Deaths under investigation, including suicides, homicides, and drug toxicity deaths, also contributed significantly to the mortality rate among younger people. This rise in mortality rate among the youth bucks a decades-long trend of Canadians living longer. The increase in such deaths, particularly suicides which have been on the decline over the past four years, represents a worrying shift in the country's demographics.

Atlantic Canada's COVID-19 Crisis

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Atlantic Canada was not spared either. The region witnessed a sevenfold increase in COVID-19 death rates compared to the previous year. With the rate of deaths more than seven times higher in 2022 compared to 2021, the pandemic has left a significant imprint on the region's life expectancy.

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Amidst these pressing issues, other notable events emerged in the Canadian landscape. The Conservative Leader is pushing for a bill to exempt farm fuels from carbon pricing. In the world of sports, the Chicago Blackhawks are moving to terminate Corey Perry's contract. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is tabling an omnibus bill with various economic measures. A lawsuit has been filed against Chopt over a contaminated salad. The first commercial jet using low-emission fuel made its way across the Atlantic, marking a milestone in aviation history. And, in response to concerns over hybrid warfare, Finland has closed its border with Russia.

As Canadians grapple with these realities, the declining life expectancy serves as a stark reminder of the profound impacts of a global pandemic and societal issues that need to be addressed urgently.

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