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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

June 08, 2023

Statistics Canada has provided provisional information on deaths in Canada up to April 1, 2023. This includes deaths attributable to all causes; fluctuations from one week to the next may be attributable to many different causes of death. The data does not include all deaths that occurred during the reference period.

Most provinces have not reported their results up to April 1; only Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia have reported to this date.  Information is not complete for recent months in:

Newfoundland and Labrador (to March 25, 2023)
Prince Edward Island (to March 25, 2023)
Nova Scotia (to March 4, 2023)
New Brunswick (to February 11, 2023)
Ontario (to December 17, 2022)
Manitoba (to May 21, 2022)
Saskatchewan (to March 4, 2022)
With limited information from several provinces, national estimates are available up to January 21, 2022.

Nova Scotia reported significant excess mortality above the upper bound of expected deaths during several weeks from November through February, following intermittent weeks of adjusted deaths in excess of the upper bounds for expected mortality.

Nationally, there were several consecutive weeks of adjusted deaths above the upper bound of expected deaths through the summer and early fall.  However, in recent data, adjusted deaths in Canada have fallen below the upper bound of expected deaths. 

In 2022, there were extended periods of significant excess mortality (adjusted deaths in excess of the upper bound for expected mortality) in many provinces.  In Alberta and British Columbia, mortality has recently fallen to be closer to the upper bound for expected mortality.  In Ontario and Québec, mortality has falled to be within the bounds expected for mortality.  In Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, recent data report some weeks of excess mortality beyond the upper bound for expected deaths, interspersed with weeks in which deaths fall within the bounds of expected mortality.  There is little evidence of excess mortality in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island in recent results.  Data from Manitoba are lagged by several months.    


Statistics Canada cautions that: "...even without a pandemic, there is always some year-to-year variation in the number of deaths in a given week. As such, the number of expected deaths should fall within a certain range of values. There is evidence of excess mortality when weekly deaths are consistently higher than the expected number, but especially when they exceed the range of what is expected over several consecutive weeks."

Further, Statistics Canada notes that: "There are also several challenges that come with measuring excess mortality, most importantly properly estimating the number of expected deaths that would occur in a non-COVID-19 context as a basis for comparison with current death counts. Significant variations may be observed from year to year in the annual death counts, especially in the least-populated provinces and the territories. Moreover, yearly death counts may be affected by changes in the composition of the population, particularly regarding age and changes in mortality rates (e.g., reduced mortality). In the Canadian context, with an aging and growing population, the number of deaths has been increasing steadily in recent years, so a higher number of deaths in 2021 and 2022 would be expected, regardless of COVID-19."

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  13-10-0768-01   Weekly death counts, by age group and sexTable 13-10-0784-01 Adjusted number of deaths, expected number of deaths and estimates of excess mortality, by week

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