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While the Government of Nunavut wrestles with ransomware that has crippled its computer network, the Department of Family Services will be handing out food vouchers to income assistance clients across the territory.

“Our main focus is that we issue food vouchers for those that really need it,” said David Akeeagok, acting minister of Family Services.

Cheques are not being issued to income support clients at this time and likely won’t be until the GN’s computers are restored, which is expected to take about a week.

“Our main focus is that we issue food vouchers for those that really need it,” David Akeeagok, acting minister of Family Services in place of the absent Elisapee Sheutiapik, said in the legislative assembly on Monday.

Akeeagok acknowledged that this “will be an inconvenience for everybody.”

Finance Minister George Hickes also addressed concerns for GN staff who are worried about payroll or reimbursement for eligible expenses, which cannot happen through direct deposit until the ransomware problem is overcome.

“We want to make sure, especially our civil servants and our medical travellers and people
who are getting reimbursed for expenses that they have spent on behalf of the
Government of Nunavut get reimbursed and compensated for those payments,” Hickes said. “If I’ve got to sign cheques manually, I am willing to do that.”

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Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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