Liard First Nation office closes, lays off staff

The Liard First Nation in Yukon has laid off nearly everyone who works for it and closed its offices, citing debts to ‘vendors’ which it has not named.
CBC's Philippe Morin reports from Whitehorse 2:57

As of today, the Liard First Nation office in Watson Lake is closed.

The First Nation laid off nearly 40 employees, nearly everyone who worked for the First Nation.

The sudden lay-offs have caught many by surprise, including the staff.

They were called to a meeting on Friday and told their jobs were suspended, “effective immediately.”

There’s no word on when they return, and some question whether they will.

The First Nation says it can't pay its employees, citing debts owed to "vendors," which it has not named.

The new chief, Daniel Morris, blames the previous leadership

He says the Liard First Nation wants to conduct a financial investigation.

Meanwhile, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is pursuing an audit of the troubled First Nation for 2011 to 2013.  

The department promises to "ensure responsible management of Canadian taxpayer's money."

According to the Liard First Nation, the only people still employed are those delivering essential services, such as water and home care.

The fate of everyone else won't likely be known until the audits are complete.

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