Liard must wait weeks for social assistance cheques

Members of the Liard First Nation who depend on social assistance cheques from government will have to wait until mid-October.

Liard First Nation members who are on social assistance will have to wait a few weeks to get their money for October.

Cheques are supposed to be issued on the first of the month but the First Nation in Yukon has handed back responsibility for the program to the federal Aboriginal Affairs department.

Chief Liard MacMillan says that department will only tell him that another service provider has been found to run the program in the community.

"They expect that that service provider will be in place for October 14th but they won't tell us who that service provider is.," MacMillan says. "And to top it all off … the Liard First Nation is still backlogged from clients back in September."

MacMillan says some September cheques haven't been issued yet because people can't often meet Aboriginal Affairs' criteria, such as having an active bank account. He estimates the number of First Nation members waiting for social assistance is close to 200, double his initial estimate.

The department of aboriginal affairs has thus far refused to provide a spokesperson to respond to the issue.

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