Recent data published by Statistics Canada shows excess deaths during three of four weeks between November 5 and November 26, 2022.
Excess mortality is observed when there are more deaths than expected during a specific period.
The province of Alberta experienced a similar spike in deaths over nearly the same period. Alberta's data, however, included five weeks ending December 3, 2022.
British Columbia, meanwhile, reported 787 excess deaths during the same five-week time frame as Alberta.
Nova Scotia's most recent data, reflective of the first 10 months of 2022, indicates 840 more deaths than expected. The rise in excess deaths in Nova Scotia remains officially unexplained.
Tara Moriarty, head of the COVID-19 Resources Canada project, a COVID modelling initiative funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, told CBC that she suspects opioids contributed to the mortality numbers but expressed concern that the lack of attribution of the deaths would cause unwanted speculation.
According to CBC:
Moriarty is calling on the province to explain what is behind the persistent, positive excess mortality numbers. She worries that without an explanation, purveyors of COVID-19 misinformation will argue that COVID-19 vaccines are to blame.