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Wildrose presses for emergency debate on 145 Alberta foster-child deaths

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith speaks in Red Deer, Alta., on Oct. 27, 2013.

CHRIS BOLIN/The Globe and Mail

Alberta's Wildrose Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in the legislature to get to the bottom of how many children have died in foster care since 1999.

A lengthy investigation by the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald suggests that 145 children have died in government care since then.

The province has officially reported 56 deaths.

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Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says the debate should also address findings that indicate the government is not following up on recommendations to prevent such deaths.

The investigation led by the Journal and the Herald followed a four-year legal fight with the province to get access to records under freedom of information laws.

The report lists youngsters who have died by hanging, malnutrition, hypothermia, head trauma, drowning and disease.

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