A report from CBC Wednesday shows that 26 children have died in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2009 while under some level of care of the province.
The information comes from documents obtained by the Crown corporation under access to information and shows that at least six of the deaths were by suicide.
These figures are disturbing, especially in a province with such a tiny population.
Up to the time of this writing there has been no official government response to the release of the information by CBC, but the minister responsible for the department or the premier himself had better plan a long, in-depth news conference to explain what the government plans to do about this unacceptable situation for all residents of this province.
It should be pointed out not all the details of the deaths are known publically and some are likely from accidents and sickness.
Regardless, there will no doubt be calls for a public inquiry into the deaths and that seems to be the only acceptable way for this to clear the air and for solutions to be put forward by experts in the field.
Nobody, including the government’s political opponents, can say the answers will be simple to find.
The best thing the Liberals and the NDP can do now is to lead the campaign for an independent probe, and then step back and reserve any more comment until a report is released.
This sad state of affairs is — or should be — above politics.
These are children, after all, and we are all collectively responsible for the way they are treated by the people we elect and hire.
One death of a child is too many, but 26 young lives wasted in five years while under government control is damning to anyone connected with the system.