Manitoba Makes New York City Look Good


I recently posted about children in care in Manitoba about some amazing statistics. The statistics were pretty grim. (See Children in Care ) Manitoba has more children in care than any other province of Manitoba. In fact it has about 25% of all the children in care in Canada. About 90% of those are aboriginal children. And Manitoba is far from the largest province. Why is that?

A friend of mine then commented that this was worse than New York City. I want to repeat this so it sinks in. Things are worse—much worse—than New York City. This is what he said,


“for purposes of comparison……
new york city – population 8.5 million, foster care population 8,300.
manitoba – population 1.3+ million, foster care population 11,000.

in other words manitoba total population adjusted for comparison to total nyc population would mean an “equivalent” foster care population in sunny manitoba of 75,000+, or a stunningly increased rate in comparison.”

no doubt, as 1st nation peoples throughout the humane country of canada have said repeatedly, this stinks and reflects ongoing racism ala the residential school debacle among many other things.”

Manitoba with less than 20% of the population has more children in care than New York City! And most of those children are Indigenous Children. To have the same percentage of children in care compared to its population , New York City would have to increase is population of children in care 10 times. What is up with that?

How can anyone deny that we have systemic racism in Manitoba?

4 thoughts on “Manitoba Makes New York City Look Good

  1. From the New England Journal of Medicine: […] “In any crisis, leaders have two equally important responsibilities: solve the immediate problem and keep it from happening again. The Covid-19 pandemic is a case in point. We need to save lives now while also improving the way we respond to outbreaks in general. The first point is more pressing, but the second has crucial long-term consequences.”

    Then this, from my personal journal, the way stuff generally works:

    I wonder if Manitoba leaders, in their efforts to “solve the immediate problem,” – children in crisis – went to extremes without knowing it? In Manitoba’s early days, racist beliefs and a kind of invader-settler-saviour syndrome, plus radically different cultural and religious outlooks complicated this process, as did disproportionate, endemic poverty, educational discrimination, language barriers, and more. All of these forces worked quietly and tirelessly to influence the perspective of all concerned, although it did not seem to be an issue at the time. Good works were underway, right? Churches were involved, budgets were approved…

    Then, the leaders go stuck. They saw—or could arguably claim to see—positive statistical results from their first response and reasoned that they had achieved not only their primary goal, but had also assuaged the long term problem. Those involved didn’t really have a voice so, time to move on.

    The powers-that-be had not solved anything, but they got credit for it and so the system became rigidly bound by these false successes and who would speak out against a system that was shown to save children’s lives? An Act was written, laws were passed, Ministers were elected and progress drove other things ahead, leaving the real long-term problem to lie fallow, forgotten. “And moss grows fat on a rolling stone…”

    The proof is now here, generations worth… the original problem persists and many other problems, some worse, have been added. Of course, this is obscured by time, filtered through decades of change, government ebb and flow, societal restructuring, the passing of the earliest and many of the successive victims, and the power of history. History written by the original leaders, bolstered by churches, and given momentum by their joint political offspring who shaped and sculpted the record to give them current and ongoing benefit.

    We probably have to start over, but do better work and include the people most involved at the centre of the process.

    1. mr. toews, sir

      the meaning of “without knowing it” is? it may be a moot point. i am unclear. we are here in the opaque territory of intention, consciousness, belief, ideology, etc.

      the meaning of “positive statistical results” is? i believe there is documentation of “excess mortality” in the residential schools that came out during the national hearings.
      mr. newfield, could you confirm or deny the unusual number of deaths in the residential schools. was suicide an issue? what about unchecked infections? corporal punishment as in homicide? poor nutrition?

      btw, canada has/d one of the highest rates of adolescent suicide in the world. the majority of those are in 1st nation communities.

      it also has/d an unusually high rate of child poverty relative to total gdp, median income, blah, blah. that too rests/ed on the backs of 1st nation children disproportionately. serial canadian majority and minority governments have claimed to be very concerned about this child poverty rate. has it really changed? again, mr. newfield, please.

      1. Yes, many in the weeds. Those who knew but kept it quiet; many more suspected but shut-up (the hump in the bell curve) and other variations on the “it walks like a duck” consciousness. Some deniers, tho’ this was not the coffee clatch position of choice. The popular conscience that I recall when this began to boil over described a “laudable origin gone wrong” and many of “us” latched onto that, tut-tutting and wondering how “they” could have let that happen?

        Damning statistics, as you point out, plus diabetes stats, ave. life expectancy and much, much more.

  2. Gentlemen: you raise a number of extremely important points so I have decided to add a new post rather than try to respond in this place.That way I hope more people will see and perhaps even participate in the discussion. Even at that I can only deal with a couple of points in the post and will continue the subject in the future because I think it is vitally important.

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